Pair of Renaissance style candelabra
Signed F. Barbedienne Paris ; D. Attarge Fit ; C. Sevin inv 1869
Height : 47 cm (18,5 in.) ; Width : 21,5 x 21,5 cm (8,5 x 8,5 in.)
Rare pair of Renaissance style candelabra with four light-arms in chiselled and silvered bronze, adorned with an elegant pattern of foliage and godrons. They rest on a square base with cut sides decorated with godrons and foliage, signed by the three artists.
Born in 1810, Ferdinand Barbedienne started at n°30 boulevard Poissonnière in Paris one of the most famous 19th century artistic bronze casting companies. He died in 1892. In addition to his personal production, he worked for famous artists such as Auguste Clésinger, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and Louis Barrias. At the London Universal Exhibition of 1851, Barbedienne’s firm won two « Council medals ». At the 1855 Universal Exhibition, he won a medal of honour and eleven cooperator’s medals for the work of his co-workers, such as his model designer Louis-Constant Sévin (1821-1888) and his chaser Désiré Attarge (c.1820-1878). D. Attarge won also the Crozatier Prize in 1862 and 1864, which was awarding the France best chaser, and was once again awarded at the 1867 Universal Exhibition with a Silver medal as Barbedienne’s co-worker. Jury’s report was then very explicit : « It’s impossible to show more taste in composition and more maestria in the making of these leaves and elegant flowers, all chased with so extreme delicacy ». The success of Barbedienne’s firm brought him many official commissions, such in about 1860, as Barbedienne supplied bronzes for furniture for the Pompeian Villa of Prince Napoleon, located avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Barbedienne’s production was always highly esteemed and he was, himself admired by contemporary art critics who compared him during the 1878 Universal Exhibition to a « prince of industry and the king of bronze-casting ». His glory did not decline with the passage of the time for at the Universal Exhibition of 1889 the critics thanked Barbedienne for the example he set for other bronze-casters by the perfection of his bronzes.
Louis-Constant Sévin (1821-1888) was first trained to design and sculpture with the sculptor Antoine-André Marneuf (1796-1865). In 1839 he went into partnership with two sculptors, Phénix and Joyau, and he created designs for famous goldsmiths such as Denière, Froment-Meurice and Morel. He fled to London during the 1848 Revolution where he worked at Morel, with whom he exhibited art works at the 1851 Universal Exhibition. Back to France he took part to the 1855 Universal Exhibition by creating designs to the Limoges porcelain makers Jouhanneaud and Dubois. Since then he worked as head decorator at Ferdinand Barbedienne’s Company. He produced a lot of works : he designed the bronze decoration for the Paiva’s Hotel (on the Champs-Elysées avenue) and created models for Ferdinand Barbedienne. He participated in different exhibitions and was awarded at the 1862 London Universal Exhibition for the artistical excellence of the furniture items he designed and which are exhibited by Barbedienne. He also received a Gold Medal as collaborator at the 1863 Central Union of Decorative Arts Exhibition.