A Pair Of ‘Japonsime’ Porcelain Vases, Mounted As Lamps
Each with a square shaped body. The sides decorated with elephant head handles. The bases corned by elephant heads, each signed to the base. Fitted for...
DimensionsHeight: 38 cm (15 in)
Each with a square shaped body. The sides decorated with elephant head handles. The bases corned by elephant heads, each signed to the base. Fitted for electricity.
Each signed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE’
France, Circa 1870
15 in. (38 cm.) high, excluding fittings.
These exquisite powder blue porcelain vases are mounted with precious gilt-bronze by the Parisian bronzier par excellence, Ferdinand Barbedienne. Especially appealing are the ‘tête d’éléphant’ gilt-bronze feet which are a motif of Barbedienne’s Japonisme creations and their design is credited to Édouard Lièvre (d.1886). Bejewelled and exotic elephant heads regularly appear in Lièvre’s designs, such as to a garniture de cheminée conceived by Lièvre in 1875 and on an aquarium of the same date, the latter, like the present vases, signed ‘Barbedienne’ (Connaissance des Arts, No. 228, ‘Edouard Lièvre’, Paris, 2004, pp. 28, 31 and 34).
Each signed 'F. BARBEDIENNE' to the base.
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.
Acquired from Galerie Roxane Rodriguez, Paris.
Supplied by François-Joseph Graf.