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19th Century French Gilt Bronze Inkwell by Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892)

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a very beautiful French Bronze inkwell by the master metalworker, and founder 
Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892).The inkwell is classical revival with a figural
finial of a bearded Greek man's head supported by three griffin feet with floral
and other designs on the rest of the body of the inkwell. 
One looped handle serves as a stop for the lid of the inkwell, and a handle. 
The inside of the inkwell and lid are both gilt, and are in very good condition.
We do not have its glass ink cup. 

It is engraved "F. BARBEDIENNE Paris" on the underside rim of the tray.

Ferdinand Barbedienne (6 August 1810 – 21 March 1892) was a French metalworker 
and manufacturer, who was well known as a bronze founder. The son of a small farmer 
from Calvados, he started his career as a dealer in wallpaper in Paris. 
In 1838 he went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had just invented a 
machine to create miniature bronze replicas of statues. Together they started a business 
selling miniatures of antique statues from museums all over Europe, thus democratising art 
and making it more accessible to households. From 1843 they extended their scope by 
reproducing the work of living artists and also diversified by making enamelled household 
objects. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 the firm briefly had to switch 
to cannon founding owing to the shortage of metals but resumed business afterwards. 
Following Barbedienne's death in 1892, he was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery 
and the firm was carried on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc until 1952.
Among the principal artists reproduced by the firm were Antoine Louis Barye and Auguste Rodin.

Approx. Dimensions:
Height: 5   1/2"
Width:  6" 
Weight: 872g

Very good original condition, still has original gilding on the inside. 
No major damage or losses, incredibly small dent on rim.
Some oxidation and losses to exterior gilding.