Dating barbedienne bronzes

An inordinately fine casting of Mignon by the foundry of Ferdinand Barbedienne, this gorgeous bronze bust retains it’s original partially gilded brown patinated surface.Mignon was originally sculpted as a seated maiden, the upper half retooled by Aizelin and cast by Barbedienne.The way antiques are being sold is also evolving and timed auctions are a step in that direction.Unlike a live auction, there is no auctioneer calling the sale, each lot listed can be bid on for a defined period of time and at the end of this period the highest bidder wins the lot, (as long as it has met or exceeded its reserve).Ferdinand Barbedienne died in 1891 and the business taken over by his nephew Gustave Leblanc who continued the foundry with the high standards set by Barbedienne. Works from the foundry are most commonly marked 'Fondeur F. A cold painted bronze figure 'The Arab Falconer', after a model by Pierre-Jules Mene (French, 1810-1879), modelled as a man in traditional Moroccan dress holding aloft a falcon with its catch of a hare below, set upon a naturalistic form base engraved J. Ferdinand Barbedienne pair of Napoleon III gilt bronze urns with two Grecian handles and bulbous foliate decorated bodies, raised on rouge marble base, signed 'Ferdinand Barbedienne' (2).

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At the beginning, they cast raw bronzes that they gave to Barbedienne or other founders to finish.

On the death of Achille Collas in 1859, Ferdinand Barbedienne became the sole proprietor of the business which at that time employed 300 workers.

His work was held in high regard, and he was elected President of the Reunion of Bronze Makers in 1865, a position he held for the next 20 years.

Then Victor Thiébaut went into patrnership with various famous sculptors: David d'Angers, Carpeaux, Falguière, Carrier-Belleuse, Paul Dubois or Pradier.

In 1898, Rodin signed a contract with this company regarding the casting of two of his works in different sizes: “The Colossus of the Nile" attributed to the workshop of Francesco Righetti (the elder) (Italian, 1738- 1819) An after the antique tour de force bronze sculpture on an elaborate purple marble and slate base.

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