A pair of cupids holding trumpet vases
Signed V. Paillard
Height : 75 cm (29 1/2 in.) ; Base diameter : 24 cm (9 1/2 in.)
Ravishing pair of figural vases ; each in the form of a patinated and gilt-bronze cherub holding a cut-crystal trumpet vase. These putti are reposing on a round molded red griotte marble and chiseled gilded bronze base.
Victor Paillard (1805-1886) was one of the most distinguished bronze casters in Paris during the second half of the 19th Century. He was taught chasing by Denière, then opened in the 1830’s his own workshop making « Art bronzes and Furnishing bronzes », settled n°105, boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris. He executed first small objects, then cast statuettes, candelabra, clocks as well as impressive sized torcheres. He appeared to the public for the first time at the Industrial Products Exhibition of 1839 and worked for the greatest French sculptors, such as Pradier, Barye and Carrier-Belleuse. He exhibited extensively with great success being mentioned for the quality of his work at the famous 1851 and 1862 London Universal Exhibitions, and the 1855, 1867 and 1878 Universal Exhibitions then held in Paris. Paillard was there celebrated by everyone ; John Burney Waring ilustrates a gilt-bronze mirror by him in his « Masterpieces of Industrial Art and Sculpture, 1862 (Plate 92) », which is a comprehensive record of the finest pieces on show in the London Exhibition. At that time, he was awarded a prize medal and the exceptional quality of his work was commented in all jury reports. Appointed a Chevalier of the « Légion d’honneur » by the French Government, Paillard employed since the 1850’s a hundred workers and proposed to his wealthy clients about four hundreds models, cast in bronze not only after famous sculptors’ works, but also after his own creations. It is especially interesting that his « Cherub » figures, such as those ones presented here were particularly singled out for their charm and popularity by commentators at both the 1862 and 1867 Universal Exhibitions. Burney Waring noted that they portrayed the « happy and innocent moods of childhood ».
Many of Paillard’s bronze pieces are now displayed in private collections as well as in renowned fine arts museums, such in the Dahesh Museum of Art in New York, exhibiting its last purchase : Sappho (1851). In Paris, the « Quai d’Orsay » (French Foreign Office) still presents since the 1860’s some great pieces by Paillard (clocks, candelabra and torcheres) in the Main Hall, the Congress Hall and the Salon of the Ambassadors. As for its Clock Room, Paillard made the clock which gave its name to the Room.
Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, P. Kjellberg, Les Ed. de l’amateur, 1989, p° 662.
Masterpieces of Industrial Art and Sculpture, John Burney Waring, 1862, Plate 92.