Ferdinand Barbedienne (d. 1892) began his Parisian foundry in 1839, eventually becoming one of the most active and distinguished bronziers of the 19th century. Although trained as a wallpaper manufacturer, in 1838 he changed his profession to become a fondeur in partnership with Achilles Collas (d. 1859). The Barbedienne workshops were equipped to perform bronze reduction, fine metal cutting, bronze mounting, marble work, turning, enamel decoration and crystal engraving. The firm was celebrated for bronze editions, but also produced decorative objects in styles that reflected the various exotic and revival trends popular at the time. Their work was shown to wide acclaim at all of the most important international exhibitions of the second half of the 19th century. After Ferdinand's death in 1892, the business was taken over by his nephew, Leblanc-Barbedienne, and continued production until 1953.
This finely-cast ormolu stand would originally have supported a richly-enamelled amphora, now lacking. The amphora, and probably the stand, featured in Barbedienne's prize-winning display at the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle, and is illustrated in the Art Journal exhibition catalogue (see The Illustrated Catalogue of the Paris International Exhibition, 1878, The Art Journal, London, 1878, p. 153).
Another example of this stand, together with its amphora, was sold Christie's New York, The Property of a European Collector, 17 October 2002, lot 15 ($196,500).