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Card tray, Alexandre Charpentier (ca. 1893)

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (584 items)

    Although I am not a great fiend of golden stuff, not even gilded bronze, there are some items I cannot but love. Amongst these are the Richard Müller candle holder I already posted some months ago
    ( )
    a Josef Hoffmann art deco box and this amazing tray by Alexandre Charpentier.

    Alexandre Charpentier (1856-1909) was a French sculptor, medalist, craftsman, and cabinet-maker (a room totally designed by him for the banker Adrien Bénard in 1901 is exhibited at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris). He’s less well known than other Art Nouveau designers such as Gallé, Guimard or Majorelle, but he played an important rôle in the emergence of Art Nouveau. His career was brief; there were just over twenty years between his first success at the Salon in 1883 and his last work in 1905. He was also an excellent portrait painter, and portrayed over five hundred prominent people of the time, mostly in medals, an art form he helped to revive.

    As for the fourth pic, here's the text that accompanies it at the website i found it at:
    Alexandre Charpentier (1856-1909)
    Enfant chantant, modèle de bouton de porte, 1893
    Plâtre pâtiné - Diam. 6,6 cm
    Paris, Musée d’Orsay
    Photo : RMN, Hervé Lewandowski
    As you can appreciate, it's a very simmilar head to that of the boy in our tray, so even if it's difficult to date my guess is that it was made sometime between 1893 and 1900.

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    1. inky inky, 8 years ago
      Oh!....these are absolutely beautiful.....:-)
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      It is just wonderful!
      A boy and dolphin?
      Can I just ask about the diameter?
      The similarity to the 'enfant chantant ' is striking.

    3. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks vet, inky and racer!

      A dolphin? Well, I'd say it looks more lika a hake :) The tray is 19,5 x 16 cm.
    4. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Well, as for the similarity between the two heads, at some point I think it could even be a model for the head in the tray...
    5. AmberRose AmberRose, 8 years ago
      Wow, gorgeous! Such a switch from your lovely glass. I'm going Koi for the fish...although I could get all Jaws in my imagination.
      Wait! Isn't there a story about a boy and a magic fish??? the edge of my brain.
    6. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      A pretty BIG koi fish then :)

      There's one opera called The Magic Fish based on a tale by the brothers Grimm... The fisherman and his wife, but there's no kid around

      Not such a big swith... we haven't even shown half the collection yet ;)
    7. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks amber, belleepoque and geo for your love!!!
    8. Manikin Manikin, 8 years ago
      Su unique austro . I get the feeling the boy is in swirling water caused by the fish swimming around him and his face looks scared . Oh what do I know :-) it is wonderful and I love it !
    9. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      You are not so far from our own idea about it... that fish looks like a menacing one! and I also think the boy is scared :)

      Thanks so much for your love and comment, Mani!!!

      Thanks to Moonstone, freiheit and czechman too!!!
    10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
      Stunning!!! beautiful!!
    11. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 8 years ago
      I fish a lot and have looked into the face of several of these, it's a pike. It was also a very popular fish at fine tables in Europe during that time. It's also a fun game of words as pike in french is - from what I've understood - 'brochet' and comes from the word brooch/nedle because of it's very very sharp teeth.
    12. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks so very much, Elisabethan!!! So a pike! In Spanish this fish is called lucio (and funny as it may sound to you all, that's a Spanish name for men... and my mother's grandfather was called Lucio -although I guess this name must be a male form for Lucía... :) - ). So now we know why the boy shows fear on his face :)

      Thanks Sean, ho2cultcha, mike, Violet and agh for your love and/or comments!!!
    13. solver solver, 8 years ago
      What an exceptional piece, austrohungaro. Perhaps, or perhaps not, ;-) the following explains the fear on the child's face.

      According to this article by David and Constance Yates, New York, 1997, titled "The Renaissance of the Cast Medal in Nineteenth Century, France," the fourth photo you show of a Charpentier medal is titled "Le Cri" ("The Scream"). After reading the excerpted paragraph below, this could be more appropriate than a child "singing." The title for the medal is not referenced by Yates in the bibliography for the article and I have not been able to find any online reference to confirm that "Le Cie" is correct.

      Last paragraph of the article and next-to-last medal illustrated: "The first decade of the twentieth century, however, brought the deaths of many of the leaders of the French School, including Chaplain and Charpentier, and Art Nouveau forms became the entrenched stylistic status-quo. Le Cri (fig. 14), one of Charpentier’s most moving and disturbing images, blends the prevailing Art Nouveau style with the emerging expressionist motifs of the eastern European avant-garde. It also eerily foreshadows the approaching crisis in Europe. All too quickly political nightmares became reality. The gentle symbolist Ovide Yencesse (1869-1947), whose favored themes had been motherhood and the family, eloquently expresses the horrors of the events of 1914-1918 in Serbia (fig.15), cast after a design by Théophile Steinlen. As was the case in all walks of life, many talented young medallic artists never returned from the Great War. Paris retained its position as the vital center of modern painting and sculpture after the war, and although the French medal enjoyed a moment of renown during the Art Deco movement, this moment was brief. European culture had changed irrevocably, and the artistic achievements of the French medallic renaissance had become history."

      online source:
    14. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Wooow, solver, what an amazing input!!! Thanks so very much!!!

      In this case the fish would be a clear metaphor for the bad times approaching.

      I wonder which of the images -the medal or the tray- was first in time, although I guess it would be the "Le Cri" medal, and then he made this tray as an easier to sell product, adapting the face from the medal... so even if the model is dated as a work from 1893, the tray wolud be closer to 1900.
    15. ozmarty ozmarty, 8 years ago
      a truely fabulous piece ...
      I will have to visit your museum one day!
    16. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago

      Unlike many museums, I will be able to offer you a glass of Spanish wine ;)
    17. ozmarty ozmarty, 8 years ago
      gracias me gusta el vino español
    18. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      :) That great Marty!

      You should know some of the not-known abroad wines: Toro, Ribera de Arlanza, Somontano, even the Madrid ones from Colmenar de Oreja which I think one cannot find outside Spain :) I tend not to buy the well known known Rioja and Ribera de Ebro types as they're usually overpriced and not always offer the highest quality they promise.
    19. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      And thanks fledermaus for your love!!!!
    20. ozmarty ozmarty, 8 years ago
      You will have to teach me about them as I have only had inexpensive but very drinkable wines from Spain... Rioja sounds like one I remember ..
    21. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanksd for your love cogito, tom and GluChip!!!

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