Ferdinand Barbedienne (d. 1892) initially trained as a wallpaper manufacturer. He changed his profession to fondeur in 1838 and began his Parisian foundry in partnership with Achilles Collas (d. 1859) in 1839. Barbedienne eventually became one of the most active and distinguished bronziers of the 19th century, winning numerous medals at various major international exhibitions beginning in the 1850s.
The Barbedienne workshops were equipped to perform bronze reduction, fine metal cutting, bronze mounting, marble work, turning, enamel decoration and crystal engraving. They were celebrated for bronze editions, but also produced decorative objects in styles that reflected the various exotic and revival trends popular at the time. The present lot is a unique example which showcases the range of skills and techniques that the firm was capable of.
An example of the bronze figure by Bareau, without the accompanying garniture, sold in these rooms, 10 October 2001, Lot 276, ($10,575).