Jean Bardou (1799-1852) was the founder of the 'JOB' brand of cigarette papers of Perpignan, France. The firm was expanded by his son Pierre Bardou (1826-1892) and grandson, Justin Bardou 'Job' (1860-1930).
Upon the death of his father, Pierre Bardou established his home and business at rue Saint-Sauveur (today rue Emile Zola) in Perpignan. In 1872 he bought the surrounding properties and built 'l'Hôtel de l'Industrie du Papier a Cigarette', which functioned as both a house and factory. In 1888 Pierre's daughter Jeanne Bardou married a young lawyer and amateur d'art called Jules Pams (1852-1930). He employed the architect Leopold Carlier to remodel the property after which known as the Hôtel Pams. The building is emblazoned with the distinctive emblem of 'JOB' on a shield beneath a crown. The same crest adorns the column and shades of this torchère.
The huge commercial success of papier à cigarettes Job under Pierre Bardou's tenure enabled him to commission the architect Viggo Theodor Dorph-Petersen (1851-1937) to build three magnificent Belle époque châteaux: one for each of his children. In addition to the remodelling of the Hôtel Pams, he built for his daughter Jeanne, the château de Valmy, for his daughter Camille, the château Ducup de St Paul, and for his son, and heir, Justin, the château d'Aubiry.
The château d'Aubiry is the most impressive: raised on a marble terrace, it is in the tradition palatiale française combining neo-renaissance and neo-baroque elements to create a fairy tale castle. It is possible that the present torchère once graced any of the Bardou châteaux, but given the prominence of the 'JOB' brand to the pedestal and shades, it is probable that it was either at the centre of the family business at the Hôtel Pams or belonged to Justin Bardou Job, as principal hier, at the château d'Aubiry.
This model of Diana was first exhibited at the London International Exhibition 1862 on the stand of the bronzier foundeur Denière. Intended to crown a mantelpiece, the 1862 version was presumably smaller than the present lifesize figure. Hargrove illustrates the model and describes: 'Diana twists sharply to the side; her mantle, attached to her tiara, is belted at her waist and again at her hips, baring her upper torso and legs. Well versed in the Renaissance [...] Carrier-Belleuse intentionally alluded to the sixteenth century, but he created a more individual personality here than in the silver fountain that he modelled several years later in the Renaissance style for the Hôtel de la Païva. Diana is fuller, her pose has more real force, and the drapery is more complex' (J. Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, New York, 1977, pp. 204-205, pl. 169). Many of Carrier-Belleuse's figural torchères were produced in editions later in the century by the principal French foundries. However Diana does not appear in the catalogues of Durenne or Val d'Osne. More usually such torchères were produced in cast-iron, whereas the present lot is in more costly bronze. It is possible therefore that the present torchère was a limited, or unique, edition made for the Bardou family.