Rare pair of neo-Greek andirons
Signed F. Barbediennne
Height : 47 cm (18 1/2 in.) ; Width : 70 up to 96 cm (27 1/2 – 37 3/4 in.) ; Depth : 6 cm (2 1/3 in.)
A rare pair of square shaped andirons, made in gilded bronze and polychrome « champlevé » enamel. Designed in the Greek style with characteristic motifs such panther head terminating in paw, adorned with palmets, rosettes and « entrelacs ». Decorated with very fine « champlevé » enamels of remarkable quality made with further palmets, scales and pine cones.
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 (1814-1883), Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) and Louis Barrias (1841-1905 At the London Universal Exhibition of 1862 Barbedienne exhibited some « cloisonné » enamel works, which were for most of them designed by Constant Sévin (1821-1888), and won medals in three different categories : Furniture, Silversmith work and Artistic bronzes, combining for some pieces with enamels (Oriental style cup, Château de Compiègne, Inv. C 71-122). 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 ».
L’univers des bronzes, Yves Devaux, Ed. Pygmalion, Paris, 1978.
Catalogue de l’Exposition Universelle, les Beaux-Arts et les Arts décoratifs, t. I : l’Art moderne, Paris, 1878.
Catalogue de l’Exposition Universelle, les Beaux-Arts et les Arts décoratifs, Paris, 1889.