Another cast from the same model is in the collection of Château Blois in France.
The present lot recounts the death of the Duke of Clarence at the hand of Garin de Fontaine at the Battle of Beauge (Angers) in 1421. Springing from the pages of Sir Walter Scott and the canvases of Eugène Delacroix, the subject and composition of the group reaches the very pinnacle of Romanticism. The overly dramatic representation of the victor delivering the disabling blow dominates a majority of the plinth and echoes the words inscised on the front and verso of the base: "This defeat (...) was a matter of great sadness to the English and great comfort to Monseigneur the Dauphin" (P. Cadet, Susse Frères: 150 Years of Sculpture, 1992, p. 17).
The casting rights for the already popular sculpture were acquired by Susse in 1838 and first appeared in the catalogue a year later titled 'deux chevaliers combattants'. The model resurfaced in catalogues dating 1844, 1860 and 1875. The fact the present lot was cast by Quesnel supports the execution date of 1838.
Comte de Nieuwerkerke (1811-1892) was a key figure in the art world of the Second Empire. Among many honors, he was the Director-General of Museums from 1849-63 and from 1863 served as the Superintendent of Fine Arts. He exhibited at the Salon from 1842 to 1861. He designed three public monuments, most notably the equestrian statues of William the Silent in La Haye and Napoleon I in La Roche-sur-Yon.