REF NO : B73026

Ferdinand Barbedienne

A Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Vases Mounted as Lamps

France, Circa 1870


A Pair of Néo-Grec Parcel-Gilt Patinated Bronze Vases Mounted as Lamps, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, from the Model by Henry Cahieux. Each vase is...


Height: 67 cm (27 in)
Width: 20 cm (8 in)
Depth: 20 cm (8 in)
REF NO : B73026


A Pair of Néo-Grec Parcel-Gilt Patinated Bronze Vases Mounted as Lamps, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, from the Model by Henry Cahieux.

Each vase is finely cast with herm-headed handles flanking a slender elongated neck above a tapering body relief-cast with classical figures and anthemion, raised on a square Belgian black marble bases.  Now mounted as Lamps.


This model of vase was exhibited by Barbedienne at the 1855 Paris ‘Exposition Universelle’ to great acclaim. They were illustrated in the Exhibition Catalogue alongside a classical revival tripod. The pair of vases together with another were described as follows: The two vases (…) selected from many exquisite and beautiful decorative works in bronze from the atelier of Messrs. Barbedienne & Cie, of Paris; they are formed, and ornamented, on the best models of the ancient Greek.

The tall slender shape of the vases with their elongated necks and a flaring mouth, in the form of anamphora with two handles, is derived from ancient Greek Loutrophoroi, which were ceremonial vases used to hold water during marriage rituals.

The Parisian sculptor Henry Cahieux (1825-1854) is recorded as having supplied the celebrated Barbedienne foundry with exclusive master models for casting in bronze including, bas-reliefs in the néo-grec, Egyptian and Japanese styles. He exhibited at the Salon between 1850 and 1853, his work always cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne.

France, Circa 1870.


Circa 1870




Patinated Bronze



Ferdinand Barbedienne

Ferdinand Barbedienne (6 August 1810 – 21 March 1892) was a French metalworker and manufacturer, who was well known as a bronze founder.

The son of a small farmer from Calvados, he started his career as a dealer in wallpaper in Paris. In 1838 he went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had just invented a machine to create miniature bronze replicas of statues. Together they started a business selling miniatures of antique statues from museums all over Europe, thus democratising art and making it more accessible to households. From 1843 they extended their scope by reproducing the work of living artists and also diversified by making enamelled household objects. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 the firm briefly had to switch to cannon founding owing to the shortage of metals but resumed business afterwards. Following Barbedienne’s death in 1892, he was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and the firm was carried on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc until 1952.

Among the principal artists reproduced by the firm were Antoine Louis Barye and Auguste Rodin.


Meyer, Jonathan. ‘Great Exhibitions, London – New York – Paris – Philadelphia 1851-1900’, Antique Collectors Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2006; p.95-97, il. C15.

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