Emile Guillemin (d. 1907) debuted at the Salon in 1870, when he exhibited a pair of Roman gladiators, entitled Rétaire and Mirmillon. However, like his contemporary Charles Cordier, he is best-known for Orientalist works, inspired by the Middle East and its exoticism. Dating from 1872, when large casts of the pair were first exhibited, the following two lots are listed in Ferdinand Barbedienne's 1886 catalogue as Deux femmes indienne et persane. The models were edited in four sizes. A large pair of these candelabra-bearing figures - perhaps the original exhibited bronze casts - flanked the entrance of the Barbedienne family residence and were sold as Belles orientales aux flambeaux at the Hôtel des Ventes, Enghien, 4 March 1984 (530,000 francs). A large adapted version of Persane, supporting a water-jug rather than candelabrum, and with lapis lazuli additions, as in the figure of Indienne here, was sold Sotheby's New York, 16 February 1995, lot 47 ($225,000).
CAST BY FERDINAND BARBEDIENNE, FROM A MODEL BY EMILE-CORIOLAN-HIPPOLYTE GUILLEMIN, PARIS, CIRCA 1872
A French ormolu and bronze figural torchere, entitled 'Persane'
Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, From a model by Emile-Coriolan-Hippolyte Guillemin, Paris, Circa 1872
Modelled as an Eastern woman holding aloft a foliate-cast candelabrum, each of the seven branches terminating in a frosted glass flower head shade, the circular spreading base inscribed Guillemin and F. BARBEDIENNE FONDEUR, on a marble plinth, electrified
Overall: 66in. (167.6cm.) high