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Style Art Nouveau / Ref.13929

Auguste LEDRU (sculptor) and Émile COLIN (editor), Large Stoneware Vase with Masks and Gilt Bronze Female Figures, circa 1902

Width: 21'' ⅝  55cm
Height: 27'' ½  70cm
Depth: 17'' ¾  45cm

France, 19th century

This beautiful stoneware vase with gilt bronze ornaments was designed by the sculptor and ornamental designer Auguste Ledru and edited by the bronze manufacturer Émile Colin in 1902, the year the plaster model was presented at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français under number 4065.

Auguste Ledru (1860-1902) was a student of Dumont, Bonnassieu, Thomas, and Boisseaux. He also worked with his father, also named Auguste Ledru, who was a sculptor and ornamental designer like him. He regularly participated in the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français between 1883 and 1902, the year of his death. In 1892, he won an Honorable Mention, in 1894, a third-class medal, and in 1896, a second-class medal with his brother-in-law René Lalique (1860-1945). Auguste Ledru also collaborated with publishing houses such as Maison Susse, Thiébaut Frères, and Émile Colin, as was the case for our vase.

The Colin house, which initially practiced plaster molding, became known as a bronze manufacturer from 1855 onwards. It published works by the greatest masters of French sculpture, such as Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (Le Zouave), Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (L’Enfant au Cor), and the Parisian goldsmith Christofle. It is also known for lighting fixtures adorned with bronzes. The house participated in the 1891 Chicago World’s Fair and won a Grand Prix at the 1900 Paris Exposition thanks to style lighting fixtures modeled by Léon Méssagé. From that date, its production seemed to focus on contemporary art bronze, abandoning classical editions.

This very original vase with a wide body features a stoneware decoration developing around two masks, whose hair and beard transform into foliage on either side. These vegetal and abstract lines characteristic of Art Nouveau create a play of light relief across the entire vase. At the top, two gilt bronze female figures, with their feet on the body and their hands on the neck, form handles.

The vase is signed “Ledru” on the body.

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris possesses a large jug with an ornamentation similar to our vase. Indeed, the spout is adorned with a mask and a nude female figure reminiscent of the handles on our vase.

Price: on request

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