A Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Five-Light Candelabra Cast by Barbedienne after the Models by Alexandre Falguière and Paul Dubois.
French, Circa 1880.
Signed ‘FALGUIERE’ and ‘P. DUBOIS’ respectively and inscribed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR’.
Barbedienne illustrates a drawing of this pair of torchères on page 63 of his 1886 catalogue ‘Bronzes D’ Art’. He lists them under the heading ‘Deux Femmes Debout’ and describes them as ‘Porte-Lumières, style Renaissance’ also indicating that they were modelled by Paul Dubois and Falguière.
This model of candelabra was exhibited by Barbedienne at the 1867 Exposition Universelle and subsequently installed at the Château de Compiègne as part of the refurbishments undertaken by Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie.
Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) was a highly important and prolific bronze founder of one of the most important French art foundries. He pioneered the use of mounts and, more commonly, bronze sculpture including figures and animals. Barbedienne produced catalogues of bronze reproductions of Greek and Roman classical sculpture and experimented with champlevé and cloisonné enamels during the third quarter of the century.
The Barbedienne foundry employed up to three hundred skilled labourers, handling the casting of numerous national monuments and architectural schemes. Ferdinand Barbedienne himself also took an active part in the promotion of contemporary sculpture and became one of the founders for David d’Angers’ medallions as well as much of Rude’s sculpture.
His signature varied from hand written capitals to stamp in capitals, usually ‘F. Barbedienne Fondeur’ or ‘BARBEDIENNE PARIS’.
In 1850 Barbedienne was commissioned to furnish the Paris Town Hall for which he was awarded with the Médaille d’Honneur at the Paris World Exhibition in 1855.
Paris, 1878: Grand Prix, Grande Médaille d’Or, Diplôme d’Honneur, and 28 Médailles de Co-opérateurs
Vienna 1873: Two Diplôme d’Honneur’, Médailles de Progrès, and 25 Médailles de Co-opérateurs
Paris 1867: Juré Rapporteur (Hors Concours)
London 1862: Three Medals for Excellence
Paris 1855: Grande Médaille d’Honneur
London 1851: Two Council Medals