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Maurice Dufrene Large Cast Bronze Art Nouveau Vase

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Posted 3 years ago


(142 items)

Tentatively attributed to Maurice Dufrene, this large cast bronze vase is unusual not only in its execution but also size. The casting is quite thick and the reticulated handles are solid, which makes for a heavy "statement" vase for a large dining or side table. The attribution to Dufrene is based upon similarly designed decorative metal ware by Dufrene that was retailed at La Maison Moderne (see Zurich Coll. candlestick example picture above). As with most Dufrene pieces, this large vase is unsigned. Dimensions: 7"(H) x 11"(D) with a 36" circumference at the base.

Maurice Dufrene was born in Paris in 1876. He grew up collecting scrap pieces of wood, fabric and cardboard from his father’s wholesale commodities business and would work them into creations in his own make-shift atelier. Later he studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, and took a job at La Maison Moderne, where he worked with the likes of van de Velde, Horta, Plumet and Selmersheim. Dufrene quickly moved to the forefront of modern design and in 1904 became a founding member of the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs, through which he exhibited for thirty years. He taught for a while at Ecole Boulle, and returned to design in 1919 producing neat and logical designs embellished with recurring carved scroll motifs and decorated with marquetry floral medallions in boxwood, ebony and ivory. In 1921 he joined the studio La Maitrise and began a period of prolific production. At the 1925 Exposition, Dufrene was everywhere. Adapting quickly to the Art Deco movement, the 1930s were just as busy for him. He died in Nogen-sur-Marne in 1955. Today much of his work goes unidentified.

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  1. cogito cogito, 3 years ago
    I thought about bronze, but the weight and bottom characteristics didn't seem quite right for it. Any idea on how to empirically test for copper vs. bronze? I don't place much faith in just looking at the color or patina of metal items these days because of experience with modern reproductions, trickery and various efforts to monkey with metal color. need to be rude.
  2. chinablue chinablue, 3 years ago
    ditto, cogito.
  3. paris1925 paris1925, 10 months ago
    really nice found-)
  4. cogito cogito, 10 months ago
    Thanks, Paris1925. The piece is still in questionable attribution status. I really wished I could find a listing or similar signed piece.
  5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 10 months ago
  6. paris1925 paris1925, 10 months ago
    hi jeff, did you have the book " The Paris Salons, 1895-1914" of alastair duncan , probably it could be inside?

    you vase looks as bronze, on the top i can see the gold reflect where the patina has left.

    you probably have a chance to find this piece in french commons livrary "gallica" digital version od national library fund. they have numeried lot of dicyments. you can also try the national art database "joconde" if that piece is in some museum collection.

    some models could also be protectec in the national patent register "inpi"
    as many models from lalique and various creators.
  7. cogito cogito, 10 months ago
    Thanks for the helpful reference sources, Paris1925!
  8. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 10 months ago
    How is it possible I missed this one? I love it!

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