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Not a gerdago girl BUT called CONTEMPLAR BY ... HENRI FUGERE

In Art Deco > Art Deco Bronze > Show & Tell and Books > Bookends > Show & Tell.
Art Deco Bronze82 of 212HUGE circa 1930 Art Deco Bronze Nudes & Automobile PlaqueR Lalique 'Cluny' vase bronze handles
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    Posted 4 years ago

    PhilDMorris
    (145 items)

    These bookends by Henri Fugere are the product of the H.B. Hirsch Foundry of NYC which produced a lot of statuettes, bookends and lamps. Most often misidentified as being by Gerdago only because a lot of her statues had big hats, but not as nice as this hat !! They may also have produced the smaller ones with the bad faces. Those also are quite common out there. The faces are more male looking and seem poorly made.

    The bookends are in The Encyclopedia of Bronzes, Sculptors & Founders, 1830 to 1930 and the author was Harold Berman who was given the information that these were by Henri Fugere circa 1930. The Hirsch family gave him that information. Harold Berman was a big fan of the quality pieces of the Hirsch Foundry, particularly of the spelter statues they produced, all from original moulds, and the Encyclopedia that Berman wrote shows a lot of their higher end work also. Before they got together Stan Hirsch saw the exhibition of the Beaux Arts statues at the Metropolitan Museum in 1966 and realized he had the original moulds for some of the statues in his posession and the museum referred Hirsch to see Harold Berman who was writing his books on the Ency of Bronzes. Berman included over 140 works in his Encyclopedia. Harold Berman began a great friendship over the next 20 years with the Hirsch Foundry and that included him working in the foundry to produce bronzes. He had access to all the signed moulds and documented the dates and makers which DID NOT include Gerdago on this magnificent piece, as the mould was signed Henri Fugere !!~

    The Hirsch Foundry had received some special information that the original moulds were buried under the floors of the bronze foundries during the war periods and after the second world war were dug up by the Hirsch family, who had the knowledge of their whereabouts. This set has no date but I believe the Hirsch family were producing these especially after 1966, when they had a show showing their new work at that time. These bookends were likely just after the war in 1947 when some of the bookstores I have researched were selling them in their store. Originally Hirsch came on the market with them just after 1946 after the moulds were dug up. They produced some nice ones with alabaster bases and also nice black marble bases mainly for the earlier ones, using ivorine for the faces, molded separately at that timespan. In the later 70's to 81 or so by the time the foundry closed, they produced ones with metal faces and metal bases. A lot of the later ones have metal faces, so you have to check. They usually had a special switch on the cord no later than around 1960's-1970. Always made of Spelter, which they called French Bronze, at the time the Hirsch Foundry started producing them. The bookends are roughly over 7 inches high and up to 10 with shade height if made into lamps. Around up to about 7 inches wide.

    It is interesting to note that Harold Berman wrote that he does not consider them reproductions but rather "Exemplaires" because they were produced from the original molds.

    For other information it is of note that these were also produced probably by another foundry in the 1990's usually with a more elongated body and spurious signatures such as Lorenzel in high relief on the leg. I have seen other pics also which said that they were also made for the tiffany showrooms, but that info is rather hard to believe and also unverified.

    I have reproduced a page from The Abage Encyclopedia of Bronzes by Harold Berman, volume IV, page 1174. I coloured this item photo on the computer.

    Info on Fugere in books mentions he did a lot of smaller art deco figures. In "The Dictionary of Sculptors In Bronze by James Mackay states Henri (or Henry) was born on Sept. 7, 1872 at St. Mande, France. He studied in France under Cavalier, Barrias, and Peusch, superb and famous Sculptors, and exhibited portraits and statuettes at the Salon des Artistes Francais in the 1920's. A lot of his work was produced in spelter metal and I used to own a bust signed by Henry Fugere.
    He pursued parallel careers as a sculptor of bronze, bronze and ivory and stone {marble} as well as a medallic engraver and regularly exhibited at the Salons of the Société des Artistes Français.

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    Comments

    1. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 4 years ago
      These are great, Phil~!
    2. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you Efesgirl, I have them in multiple colours and forms presented also.
    3. Manikin Manikin, 4 years ago
      Great explanation and very informative ! and of coarse I have always loved your girls !!! xoxo
    4. antiquerose antiquerose, 4 years ago
      Beautiful Phil as always !!! You the Master !!!

      Your home looks as stunning as I recall it being !!!!
    5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you brunswick for your kind words !~
    6. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Absolutely wonderful!!
    7. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Wonderful bookends Phil...just love the design. :)
    8. pops52 pops52, 4 years ago
      Always loved these bookends Phil, Thanks for posting them again!
    9. mcheconi mcheconi, 4 years ago
      Superb casting, with lots of fine details, love them.
    10. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you Manikin, just recently got another set in good condition like these, will post soon, love and hugs to you.
    11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thanks antiquerose for the nice comment !~
    12. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
      Thank you for your research - what lovely ladies!
    13. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you jscotto for the nice comment !~
    14. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you Mike, appreciate !
    15. roddyq roddyq, 4 years ago
      The detailing is awesome Phil and the faces so life like!!
    16. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thanks roddyq the detailing is excellent. They are the best faces that the Hirsch foundry made ever from ivorene. There is a smaller set made, similar, which I have not put on yet. They have same outfits but crude faces so doubt if by same sculptor but by Hirsch also, possibly factory designed.
    17. roddyq roddyq, 4 years ago
      By far the most beautiful bookends I have ever seen Phil.
    18. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thanks roddyq ! valentino97 thank you !
    19. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 years ago
      Thank you again Mani, xoxo !

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