French Champleve and Onyx Urns Barbedienne


Attributed to Ferdinand Barbedienne 

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    Onyx & Champleve Enamel 

    From our Decorative collection, we are delighted to offer this pair of French Champleve and Onyx Urns attributed to Barbedienne. The Urns of typical form with slightly tapered onyx waisted bodies having a ribbed centre section. The vases mounted with ormolu (gilt bronze) inlaid with champleve enamel and finished upon champleve stems with a flared base and large looped handles with good quality chased decoration. The Urns are firmly attributed to renowned French foundry and caster Ferdinand Barbedienne. For more information on Ferdinand Barbedienne see our makers and retailers page and Ferdinand Barbedienne. The vases date to the late 19th century during the belle époque era circa 1875.

    Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) Born in Saint-Pierre-en-Auge, Northwestern France. Barbedienne began life as a wallpaper salesman before going into partnership with Achille Collas in 1838 the founder of a mechanical device capable of replicating miniature models of famous sculptures. From 1838 Barbedienne grew substantially to become one of the most well known French founders and sculptures of the 19th century.

    Ormolu is the technique of applying finely ground, high-carat gold–mercury amalgam to an object of bronze. The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold coating. The French refer to this technique as bronze doré and in English it is often referred to as gilt bronze. It is a finishing technique which adds an overall gold look to any object without the massive cost and impracticality of making an object out of solid gold. Mercury was outlawed in the 1830’s in France however it was still used until the early 1900s.

    Bronze is a metal alloy consisting of copper, about 12% tin and often other metals such as aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc and sometimes, non-metals such as phosphorus, arsenic and, silicon. The additions produce a range of alloys that are harder than copper alone and often have other useful properties such as strength, ductility, and/or machinability.

    Belle Epoque is a period of French, Belgian and European history. It began in the early 1870’s and to ended with the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

    Champlevé is an enamelling technique in which troughs or cells are carved, etched, die struck, or cast into the surface of a metal object, and filled with vitreous enamel. This technique is not too dissimilar to Cloisonne however with Cloisonne the enamel is contained within thin walls of metal that have been soldered to the surface of the metal vase.

    Measurements 31cm High x 17cm Wide x 15cm Deep ( 12.2 x 6.7 x 5.9 Inches)

    Condition Excellent antique condition

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