REF NO : B77550

Val d' Osne

‘Aux Pages’ – A Fine Pair of Large Cast Iron Figural Torchères After Mathurin Moreau

France, Circa 1890


'Aux Pages' - A Fine Pair of Large Cast Iron Figural Torchères After Mathurin Moreau, Cast by Fonderies D'art Du Val D'Osne. Each figure cast as a young...


Height: 186 cm (74 in)
Width: 52 cm (21 in)
Depth: 36 cm (15 in)
Weight: 310 kg
REF NO : B77550


‘Aux Pages’ – A Fine Pair of Large Cast Iron Figural Torchères After Mathurin Moreau, Cast by Fonderies D’art Du Val D’Osne. Each figure cast as a young page modelled in the troubadour style, with 16th century costume and holding a spear.

Each with foundry lozenge for ‘Fonderies D’art Du Val D’Osne’.

Illustrated – Val d’Osne Catalogue Nº2 1900 Fontes d’art, Pl. 372 -Nº172; Pl. 595- Nº257 & 258.

This impressive pair of torchères cast by Val d’Osne, were executed according to the drawings of the important sculptor and shareholder in the foundry, Mathurin Moreau. Moreau’s drawings appear to have been first published in 1872 and 1874 appear in the foundry’s catalogue no. 2 ‘art fonts’ published in 1900.

Val d’Osne Catalogue Nº2 1900 Fontes d’art, Pl. 372

As an emblem of Val d’Osne, the figures of the two Pages could be found at the entrance of the foundry. The most famous examples today are those at Villa des Pages in Vésinet. Built in 1890, as a retreat and sanatorium, visitors have been welcomed for over 100 years by the two pages on the steps of of the villa.

‘Villa des Pages’, Vésinet, France

Further examples can be found in public and private collections across the world including South America, indicating the importance of that market for val d’Osne in the last quarter of the 19th century. A pair can be found at the entrance of a private residence in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro. In São Paulo a single example of Nº258, originally at the Ilha dos Amores and transferred to Largo do Arouche in 1914, can now be viewed at the Centro de Estudos Jurídicos da Prefeitura.

French, Circa 1885.

Private Residence, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, brazil.




Circa 1890




Cast Iron


Each with foundry lozenge for 'Fonderies D'art Du Val D'Osne'.

Val d' Osne

A frequent participant at the international exhibitions during the second half of the 19th Century, the prolific firm of Val d’Osne, established by J.P.V. André in 1835, was known for its extensive inventory of architectural designs and ‘fancy castings’.

Noted sculptors like Carrier-Belleuse, Mathurin Moreau, Pradier and Delaplanche created numerous models exclusively for Victor André. The firm met with critical acclaim at the 1857 London Exhibition with a monumental bronze fountain cast with swans and Classical figures. Acquired by Barbezat & Cie in 1867, and allying with the fondeur J.J. Ducel towards 1870, the company was eventually renamed Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux & Fonderies du Val-D’Osne, Anciennes maison J.P.V. André et J.J. Ducel et Fils.

The most celebrated works of art cast by the firm are irrefutably the Parisian subway entrances designed by Hector Guimard.


Mathurin Moreau was born in Dijon in 1822 and died in Paris in 1912, a famous sculptor, entrepreneur and public figure. His father, Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1797-1855), also an acclaimed sculptor in Dijon, was best known for his restoration of the medieval tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which had been damaged during the French Revolution. Mathurin trained under his father and in 1841 entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where he trained as a sculptor under Etienne-Jules Ramey and Augustin-Alexandre Dumont.

Moreau made his Salon debut in 1848 with a sculpture in plaster, ‘Elegy’, and in 1852, his Salon exhibit ‘Flower Fairy’, also a plaster sculpture, was commissioned in bronze by the State. At the 1861 Salon, his marble sculpture ‘Spinner’ was also purchased by the State, for the Musee du Luxembourg, Paris. Works of this kind continued to earn Moreau medals and prizes at subsequent Salons and international exhibitions.

He had many public commissions and his statues and monuments are to be found in many parts of Paris. Among his public works, he contributed decorative sculpture to the new Opera and to the rebuilt Hotel de Ville in Paris. He also produced commemorative statues, such as the marble and bronze work in Dijon’s Place de la Republique from 1899 of Sadi Carnot, President of the French Republic, which he executed in collaboration with Paul Gasq (fl 1881 – 1909); the statuette of Marguerite of Anjou (1901) and the memorial to Gramme in Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Entrepreneurial activities won Moreau an influential position in public life, and from 1878, Moreau was mayor of the Nineteenth Arrondissement in Paris, which is celebrated in ‘The Civil Marriage’, a painting by Henri Gervex that hangs in the Salle des Mariages of the Mairie of that arrondissement, showing Moreau officiating at his son’s civil marriage ceremony before a distinguished audience.

Artists Bibliography

Kjellberg, Pierre ‘Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, Dictionnaire des sculptures’, Paris, Les Editions de l’Amateur, 1987, p.511.



Val d’Osne, S.A. des Hauts-fourneaux et fonderies du Val d’Osne – Album n° 2 – Fontes d’art Année, 1900.

Robert’s Album-Guide, The Illustrated Vésinet and its Surroundings, 1904.


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