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Jean Antoine Houdon Busts " Des enfants Brongniart " / Alva Studios Museum Reproductions/ Circa 1979

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Posted 1 year ago

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mikelv85
(712 items)

Saw these yesterday at VOA and didn't want to wait till tomorrow and fight the 50 percent off crowds for their end of the month blow out. These would have been gone for sure. I was glad they were still there today ! They are made by Alva Studios who do museum reproductions. These are from 1979 and are signed and marked with the title around the back of each bust. They are 14" high on their brass roman column pedestals and are super heavy, almost 5 lbs.each ! The busts themselves are a composite stone powder/resin called "Alvastone" that imitates marble. They were loose from their bases and I had to tighten the bolts that hold them all together. Alex has a tiny defect in the ruffle of his shirt. Looks like there was an air bubble in the composite that popped thru from being bumped. The originals in the Louvre are by Jean Antoine Houdon a famous 18th century French sculpture. He sculpted portrait busts of many philosophers and political figures as well as friends. His busts of Benjamin Franklin, Washington and Voltaire are very well known as are these. Louise and Alexandre Bronginart the children of French architect Alexandre Theodore Bronginart. Nice overall condition too!
-Mike-

Comments

  1. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 1 year ago
    I have seen these along with the busts of david, I had some I believe and you can see one of mine here on the coffee table :
    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/56555-metalcraft-manufacturing-co-ltd

    When yours were made fits into my timeline which was around 1984, the only difference was mine were made By a Professor someoneorother and had marble and onyx bases. They were heavier stoneware and or resin and through most all the different decades of the 20th century somebody was making something similar. Mine cost in the neighbourhood of around 70 -80 dollars for the small. I had a large bust of david also that was on a block of the best real onyx which made it more expensive, but the finest quality of casting, similar to yours.
  2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 1 year ago
    You have some really wonderful things Phil !
  3. epson233 epson233, 1 year ago
    these are gorgeous -- thanks for sharing pics and information
  4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 1 year ago
    This is really puzzling me. There is basically nothing about this company online. One of the Ebay listings calls the composite material they use for the marble reproductions "Alvastone". There is an Alva Studios Museum Reproduction Catalog on Amazon but no history or background anywhere. Considering they reproduce everything that's in museums from jewelry to sculpture, you'd think there would be something about them.
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    "The word Alvastone was a Trademark filed on January 31, 1979, by Alva Museum Replicas, Inc., of New York, a subsidiary of New York Graphic Society Ltd."

    Diane Von Basedow, Inc. is mentioned too. Closed in 1991.
  6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 1 year ago
    Thank you for the info vetraio50 :) I figured they were out of business by now. That's possibly why there isn't too much about them. I believe they started in the 50's. There's a lot of pieces for sale online from that decade.

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