Barbedienne Bronze Candelabra, ca. 1860
I bought this at an estate sale in Beaumont, Texas, in 1993. It just caught my eye and it was a period in my life that I was making some major changes, doing different things, and one of them included shopping. And I went to an estate sale, saw the piece-- I have another matching one at home-- and I bought them.
And do you use them? Are they on display?
They're on display but I don't use them.
The quality of the bronze work is actually quite remarkable. The decoration, right down to this wonderful festoon here and all of the extra work in this gilt bronze is quite amazing. Now, this is also bronze as well, but this has a brown patination. And it's not so unusual that they would have the two different patinations going on. Now, the most famous founder from the largest foundry in Paris was Barbedienne. Ferdinand Barbedienne was one of the premier artists in bronze and he eventually created one of the largest foundries in Paris. He had over 300 high-quality craftsmen working on bronze.
And he was particularly known for doing this work with Greek or Roman figures. What really tells us that it's Barbedienne is up in the socle here, which is this small part here, it is very clearly signed in his very typical capital letters, "F. Barbedienne." It would have been produced just about 1860 in Paris. His height of his market came about 1855 for the Paris Exposition when he put some remarkable things on display. And shortly after that he did a tremendous amount of high-quality work on bronzes like this for the general public. You have these almost serpent-like mythical decorations on the handles and this wonderful rouge marble base accented with gilt bronze, beautiful quality. I think the only flaws that we found were that some of the little drip cups at the top here were missing. The drip cups hurt the value a little bit, but you can get replacement drip cups.
Really an eye-catching pair. You paid...?
$700 for the pair. The value of a single one at auction would be in the range of $3,000 to $5,000, but as you have a pair of them, the value for the pair at auction would be in the range of $8,000 to $12,000.
Lord have mercy! That's wonderful. Thank you.
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