F. Barbedienne bronze desk top double inkwell c1880. b Saint-Martin-de-Fresnay, Calvados, 10 Jan 1810; d Paris, 21 March 1892. Excellent casting detail. Measures 6 inches high, 16.5 x 7.75 inch tray and 9 x 17.5 inch base. Signed on front right foot. The hand blown glass inserts are original to the piece.(e.g. Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin). By 1850 the firm was also producing a wide range of decorative objects chandeliers, vases and furniture in a variety of revival styles (e.g. Neo-Grec, Gothic and Louis XVI). Between 1850 and 1854 the firm provided furnishings in the Renaissance Revival style for the Hotel de Ville, Paris. From 1851 the firm, by then known as Barbedienne, received numerous medals at the international exhibitions, including medals in three different classes at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London. Barbedienne's work in enamel, which was at the forefront of the revival of enamelwork in France in the 19th century, was shown for the first time at this exhibition (e.g. gilt metal vase with champleve enamel, c. 1862; London, V&A). In 1886 he was awarded the Jean Goujon Gold Medal by the Society de Encouragement pour le Industrie Nationale. The business was carried on by Barbedienne's nephew after his death. To learn more about this famous artist go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Barbedienne
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