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Maurice Dufrene Large Cast Bronze Art Nouveau Vase

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lovely7 of 149Japanese ? I ThinkSilver Fountain Pen hallmarked 1912
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Posted 3 years ago

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cogito
(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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Comments

  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. And...no 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
    STUNNING!!
  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.

    http://www.inpi.fr/fr/accueil.html
    http://gallica.bnf.fr/
    http://www.culture.gouv.fr/documentation/joconde/fr/pres.htm
  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!
  9. Robalbhen, 16 days ago
    Absolutely not by Dufrene. The candlestick has only a passing resemblance, and there was a lot of shared inspiration amongst designers. A knowledgeable friend of mine suggests that it may be a German or Belgian industrial production.
  10. Robalbhen, 16 days ago
    INPI would be useful if your piece was post 1910, as it holds "Les dessins et modèles français depuis 1910 (consultable immédiatement à partir de 1952 et sous délai de 1910 à 1951)". I have been to their offices, and I can tell you that it is not an easy task to track down ancient items. A three-year PhD might help sort things out!
  11. cogito cogito, 16 days ago
    Thanks for the advice, Robalbhen. At some point I may be able to find an attribution, but I'm curious how it can be so authoritatively dismissed as not being by Dufrene if it can't be definitively attributed to anyone? I'm speculating on the maker at this point, as are all of us. The German or Belgian production thought is a good one. I hadn't considered that and will look through my Jugendstil sources to see anything similar is pictured. The piece is pretty substantial in terms of the bronze work, which couldn't have been cheap to produce at the time. If industrial production, then I'm befuddled why it is not more recognizable. Maybe it's Austrian given their love of bronze works at the turn of the century?
  12. Robalbhen, 16 days ago
    I have a fairly large database of Dufrene works, and it does not really fit in with his oeuvre. There are many highly competent works that cannot be assigned, some designed by lesser-known names. A good piece does not necessarily need to be attributed to a well-known artist. On the other hand, as far as 'industrial' or 'serial' productions are concerned, one need only think of such great names as Carabin or the numerous Degas bronze sculptures around. So 'industrial' does not necessarily equate with poor quality design, but rather with serial production.
  13. cogito cogito, 16 days ago
    Thanks again. I do value your input. And, if your CW handle suggests it, I would love to see your pottery collection!
  14. cogito cogito, 16 days ago
    It's the serial production aspect that puzzles me, because if there are multiples then it should be easier to attribute (or at least find other unattributed examples). BTW - this was purchased at a German auction house, so the Austrian/German/Belgian possibilities are stronger assuming that the piece did not venture far from its region of origin.
  15. Robalbhen, 16 days ago
    Unfortunately, unattributed items are less publicized in books and on the internet. Collectors and dealers are always happier with a name.
  16. cogito cogito, 16 days ago
    Any thoughts on who sculpted and/or produced this piece? http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/130325-jugendstil-asian-aquatic-themed-bronze-w

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