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 major international exhibitions during 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.
The original model for this massive pair of Grecian-form cloisonné
amphorae featured on Leblanc-Barbedienne's large stand at the 1900 Paris Exhibition Universelle, and is illustrated in the Art Journal's exhibition catalogue (see The Paris Exhibition 1900 - An Illustrated Record of its Art, Architecture and Industrie, Section I, The Art Journal, London, 1900, p. 125).