These two important cast iron dolphins come from the former Bridge of the Porte de France in Grenoble (also called Pont de la Bastille), built by Gustave Eiffel in 1892. The railing of this sumptuous iron bridge was then adorned with sixty-eight similar cast iron dolphins. Emblem of the Dauphiné region, the choice of the dolphin to decorate this bridge takes all its significance.
The Pont de France was destroyed in 1956. On this occasion, most of the 68 dolphins were melted but some were preserved. Some adorn public squares or fountains today (like the fountain of Paradise in Tullins). Others were kept by private individuals, including municipal employees to whom these dolphins were offered by the city of Grenoble, and resurfaced on the market on very rare occasions.
The bridge of Grenoble is one of the first constructions that Gustave Eiffel realized just after the consecration of the Eiffel Tower, built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1889 .
The pair of dolphins that we present here is of significant historical importance, being rare authentic remains of a destroyed work by Gustave Eiffel. Decorating the guardrail of the former bridge of Grenoble, they carry with them the memory of the incredible technical progress which was realized thanks to the company G. Eiffel and Co.