A Pair of Patinated and Parcel Gilt Bronze Amphora Vases
A Pair of Patinated and Parcel Gilt Bronze Amphora Vases
A Pair of Patinated and Parcel Gilt Bronze Amphora Vases


A Pair of Patinated and Parcel Gilt Bronze Amphora Vases

c. 1870 France

Offered by Adrian Alan


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A Pair of Patinated and Parcel Gilt Bronze Amphora Vases.

This finely cast pair of vases were designed in the classical style by the sculptor Levallain and cast by the fondeur Barbedienne. They depict busts of Bacchus and Ariadne against a ground of fruiting vines and are of exceptional quality.

Ferdinand Levillain:

Ferdinand Levillain (1837 - 1905) made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1861 and won recognition through the 1860's and 1870's for his work with the highly respected fondeur Ferdinand Barbedienne.

In 1878 he ceased his collaboration with Barbedienne and triumphed alone at the Exposition Universelle, where he was awarded a gold medal. On this occasion, the bronze sculptor Servant (1828-1890) declared that his chiselling is comparable 'to the finest jewellery' and that his 'shapes are so pure attaining the highest degree of perfection'. In 1884 he was awarded the first class medal at the Salon and in 1889 silver medal at the Exposition Universelle. In 1892 he was recognised with the highly prestigious 'Legion d'Honneur'. Examples of his work are displayed in many museums including the 'Musée de Lyon' and the 'Musée d'Art Moderne' in Paris.

Levillain also collaborated with the Sèvres manufactory and won several medals, which are still visible today at the Louvre Museum and the Musee des Beaux Arts in Angers

Ferdinand Barbedienne:

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 'champleve' and 'cloisonne' enamels during the third quarter of the century. Barbedienne exhibited several pieces of furniture at the 1855 Paris Exhibition including a gilt-bronze mounted oak dressing table and a gilt-bronze mounted ebony veneered bookcase. Both pieces were executed in his favoured Renaissance revival style for furniture. Furniture with mounts signed by Barbedienne is extremely rare.

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 Davis 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 'medaille d' honneur' at the Paris World Exhibition in 1855.

French, Circa 1870.

Pierre Kjellberg, 'Les Bronzes du XIX Siecle, dictionnaire des sculpteurs', pps.653-658.

Denise Ledoux-Lebard, 'Les Ebenistes du XIX Siecle', p.38.

Jeremy Cooper, '19th Century Romantic Bronzes', pps. 25,41,149
Height 45.00 cm (17.72 inches)
Width 12.00 cm (4.72 inches)
Depth 12.00 cm (4.72 inches)
Stock Code
Patinated Bronze
Inscribed 'F.Levillain Sculpteur' and stamped 'FERDINAND BARBEDIENNE' to the bases.
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
66/67 South Audley Street

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