Exceptional pair of jardinieres
Signed F. Barbedienne
Height : 61 cm (24 in.) ; Width : 75 cm (29 1/2 in.) ; Depth : 35 cm (13 3/4 in.)
Model presented at the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition
(Reproduced and commented in Victor Champier’s book « Les Industries d’Art, Exposition Universelle de 1889 »)
A pair of exceptional jardinieres made in a very beautiful red « Griotte » marble. Each of « crater » shape, the centerpiece is sumptuously adorned with Renaissance style gilded bronze mounts cast after a design by Louis-Constant Sévin, such the mask of Medusa beneath a shell and flanked by swirling foliate acanthus with gadrooned rim. The handles cast with seated thinking putti on lion head-cast handles.
Born in 1821 and dead in Paris in 1888, Louis-Constant Sévin was apprenticed to the parisian sculptor Marneuf. In 1839, he joined the sculptor-modelors Phénix and Joyau, as designer, and designed silver-smith’s objects for famous firms like Denière, Froment-Meurice, Morel and Duponchel. During the Revolution in 1848, C. Sévin joined Morel in London, as workshop manager and designed pieces that Morel exhibited in 1851. Back in France in 1851, C. Sévin went to Limoges and designed models for the porcelain factories of Jouhanneaud and Dubois of which many pieces were exhibited at the Universal Exhibition in 1855. From this date on, he worked for Ferdinand Barbedienne as sculptor-ornemanist until the end of his life. Sévin’s works are considerable, he designed furniture bronzes for the « hôtel de La Païva ». At the London Exhibition in 1862, he was awarded a medal « pour l’excellence artistique des meubles qu’il a dessinés et qui sont exposés par Barbedienne » : for the artistic excellence of the furniture he designed and which is exhibited by F. Barbedienne. He won a second class medal at the Union centrale des Arts décoratifs Exhibition in 1863 and was awarded a gold medal as « cooperator ». F. Barbedienne said that posterity would remember Sévin’s compositions. The most extraordinary object designed by C. Sévin for F. Barbedienne, was a Renaissance style gilded bronze monumental clock, four metres high, for which C. Sévin won a gold medal as well as was awarded the Légion of Honour at the Universal Exhibition in 1878. His triumph was still valid at the 1889 Universal Exhibition.
Born in 1810, Ferdinand Barbedienne started 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 Clésinger, Carrière-Belleuse and Guillemin. 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 ». He was there awarded the « Grand Prix » as well as 28 cooperator medals. 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.