After the Antique, from the Parthenon, on public view in the British Museum
Ferdinand Barbedienne, French, 10 January 1810 – 21 March 1892
Stamped F. Barbedienne Fondeur and Réduction Mécanique A. Collas
Two Fates, Clotho, seated, holding a spindle and Atropos, lying, holding a scroll and a pair of scissors.
Ferdinand Barbedienne was a famous French metal worker and manufacturer. He presided over one of the most renowned and prolific foundries of Belle Époque Paris. His atelier created sculptures, clocks and bronze mounts of the highest quality, and his works were shown at numerous international exhibitions of the period, where he was rewarded with many medals. Among them the Grande Médaille d’Honneur, in Paris in 1855 is particularly noteworthy.
In 1838 he associated with the engineer Achille Collas (1795-1859) who had just invented a process to reproduce statues at a smaller scale.
Together they founded in 1839 the company “Collas et Barbedienne” to reproduce casts of both contemporary artists and Greek and Roman antiquities. While working with Collas, Barbedienne actively pursued contracts with many sculptors of Paris contracting with David D’Angers, Jean-Baptiste Clesinger, and even producing some casts for Antoine Louis Barye as well as others. From 1860 to the years 1890, Barbedienne, eager to research new processes, experimented new techniques in champlevé and cloisonné-enamels, to compete with Japanese importations, very fashionable then.
When Collas died in 1859, the business was left to Barbedienne as sole owner. The company who had over 300 employees was prosperous as well in the field of reproductions as in its department specialized in the casting of monumental bronzes.
In 1865, he was appointed President of the Reunion of Bronze Makers until 1885.
After the 1870 war, Barbedienne resumed successfully his business and most of his production was intended for export. When he died in 1892, his flourishing business was taken on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc, who kept it at the highest standards.