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H. Houdebine

Bronze-caster

(Active since 1845)

A neo-Greek clock

Dial signed H. Houdebine, Fabricant de Bronzes, Rue de Turenne 64, Paris
1867 Exposition Universelle – Médaille d’Argent
Clockwork signed Japy Frères & Cie – Médaille d’Honneur

France

Circa 1870

Height : 41 cm (16 in.) ; Width : 34 cm (13 1/3 in.) ; Depth : 16 cm (6 1/3 in.)

A Napoleon IIIrd period gilt-bronze and red pompeian backgrounded polychrom porcelain mounted mantel clock. The case executed in the Greek style with cresting of an theater open mask and scrolled foliage, above an arched panel of astrological symbols and muses. The lower case fitted with panels of oval portraits and a panel of cherubs, the case molded in high relief with lion masks, flowerheads, acorns, floral garlands, and elongated anthemion. Resting on a gilded base with red velvet top.

Biography

Henri Houdebine founded his company in 1845. He gained a great reputation in the making of clocks and decorative bronze pieces. His works, appreciated for their high artistic quality, took inspiration from various styles, including the neo-Greek style, very fashionable with artists in the 1860s. His work was immediatedly successful with the public, and one can say from 1862, that 50% of his production was exported. Houdebine set up his workshops at number 64, rue de Turenne, in Paris during the period 1865-1880. He participated magnificently in several Universal Exhibitions, such those held in Paris in 1855, where he was awarded a 2nd class medal for his statuettes and display cups, in London in 1862, and again in Paris in 1878 and 1889, where he won a Gold medal for his all the works he exhibited. Houdebine participated finally in the Chicago Universal Exhibition of 1893, where he presented splendid cressets, clocks and some sculptures.

Bibliography

Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, P. Kjellberg, Les Ed. de l’amateur, 1989, p° 661.

Catalogue officiel, Exposition Universelle de 1862, Londres, Section française, B.A.D., t. XI, Classe 31, p° 205.

Exposition Universelle de 1889 : Liste des récompenses attribuées aux exposants, Journal Officiel, Paris, 1889, Classe 25.

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