An Art Nouveau Bronze Figural Ewer
An Art Nouveau Bronze Figural Ewer Modelled With A Water Nymph by Auguste Ledru, Cast by Susse Frères. Inscribed 'Susse F. Paris Edt.', stamped also...
DimensionsHeight: 36 cm (15 in)
Width: 30 cm (12 in)
Depth: 26 cm (11 in)
An Art Nouveau Bronze Figural Ewer Modelled With A Water Nymph by Auguste Ledru, Cast by Susse Frères.
Inscribed ‘Susse F. Paris Edt.’, stamped also to the underside and dated 1895.
This impressive ewer is of patinated bronze, with marine and erotic imagery, cast and applied in high relief. A fully modelled female figure of a water nymph reclines on the shoulder of the ewer surrounded by swirling waters. The rim and spout of the ewer are cast with a mask of Neptune.
Tracing its origins to 1758, the Paris foundry of Susse Frères is one of the oldest art foundries in Europe. They were appointed suppliers to Empress Marie Louise from 1812 and the Duc de Berry from 1818. Following the 1830 revolution, they were granted a Royal Warrant as an official supplier to the monarchy. Originally a stationery company selling small bronze statuettes, the company began to focus on the process of bronze casting as early as 1839 under the direction of the brothers Michel Victor and Amedee Susse. They produced in that year a six-page catalogue of bronze sculptures.
In 1847 they obtained the right to use the Sauvage procedure for reduction, similar to that invented by Achille Collas and employed by Ferdinand Barbedienne. The ability to produce reductions of large-scale bronzes enabled Susse to create editions of work in various sizes and opened up the market to collectors. Michel Victor Susse died in 1860 leaving Amedee as the sole director of the foundry until 1880 when Albert Susse became the director.
In the subsequent years, Susse Frères obtained the rights to produce editions of the works of some of the most important French sculptors of the nineteenth century including James Pradier, Pierre-Jules Mêne, Auguste Cain, Pierre-Nicolas Turgenev, Yevgeny Alexandrovich Lanceray, Louis-Ernest Barrias, Jules Dalou, Alexandre Falguière, and Mathurin Moreau.
Renowned for the quality of its casting and multipatinated finishes, the firm of Susse Frères exhibited with notable success at many of the great exhibitions of the nineteenth century including a prize medal at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and a Grand Prix at the 1905 Lieges Exposition Universelle.
Paris, Dated 1895.
Inscribed Susse F. Paris Edt. | stamped also to the underside and dated 1895.
Auguste Ledru (1860-1902) was a pupil of Dumont, Bonnassieux, Thomas and Boisseaux and made his debut at the Salon of 1883. Although trained as a monumental sculptor he devoted most of his work to the decorative arts creating small items often of sensual design incorporating nudes, nymphs and natural forms.
Cadet, Pierre. Susse Frères 150 Years of Sculpture, Susse Frères, (Paris), 1992; p.206 ill.