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    Sale 2034

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics

    21 October 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 280

    AN IMPORTANT FRENCH OVER-LIFE-SIZE CAST-IRON FIGURE OF NEPTUNE

    CAST BY VAL D'OSNE, FROM THE MODEL BY GABRIEL VITAL-DUBRAY, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IMPORTANT FRENCH OVER-LIFE-SIZE CAST-IRON FIGURE OF NEPTUNE
    CAST BY VAL D'OSNE, FROM THE MODEL BY GABRIEL VITAL-DUBRAY, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    The edge of the conch-shell signed and dated V. DUBRAY/1856, the base stamped VAL D'OSNE
    83¼ in. (210 cm.) high to top of head; 108¼ in. (275 cm.) high to end of trident


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    Fueled by the rapid development of the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of the 19th century saw increased mass-production of cast-iron ornamentation in both European and American foundries. However, nowhere was the popularity greater than in France, where by the second half of the 19th century the firm of Val D'Osne had come to dominate production of cast-iron ornamentation. Officially known as Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux et Fonderies du Val-D'Osne, Anciennes maisons J. P. V. André et J. J. Ducel et Fils, the firm, commonly known simply as 'Val D'Osne', was originally founded in 1835 and developed rapidly by absorbing smaller foundries in the Haute-Marne area east of Paris. A frequent participant in the International Exhibitions, the foundry was awarded medals for their work during the latter half of the 19th century.

    A student of Jules Ramsey, Gabriel Vital-Dubray (d. 1892) was a frequent participant at the Paris Salon and debuted at the 1842 Salon to moderate acclaim with his figures of Sainte Philomène and Saint Jean Baptiste. However, his 1856 figure of Neptune is perhaps the among the artist's most recognizable works and was exhibited at the London International Exhibition in 1862. Following its exhibition, Val D'Osne began editing the work in copious numbers in the 1870s. Of the surviving Val D'Osne casts, several are known to reside in public spaces in European and South American towns, including Valparaiso, Chile and Ghisoni, Corsica.

    Pre-Lot Text

    A PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MARBLE AND CAST-IRON GARDEN STATUARY AND ORNAMENT (LOTS 278-285)