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Similar Gerdago Girl Bookends, Attribution to H. Fugere

In Art Deco > Art Deco Bronze > Show & Tell and Books > Bookends > Show & Tell.
Art Deco Bronze106 of 238Armor bronze Co./ S.C. Tarrant Co. Art deco BookendsHUGE circa 1930 Art Deco Bronze Nudes & Automobile Plaque
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (192 items)

    A new set of bookends I bought recently very similar to the ones I posted last post. The marble is slightly different also, no two marbles used much alike. These are the ones that have original price tags to the underside and the company that sold them, BURROWS, who were a leading book, stationery, and office-supply firm in Ohio. After Burrows Bros. was sold to a group headed by Howard Klein in 1944, the name was shortened to Burrows, and the new owners moved its downtown store to 419 Euclid Ave.; added more suburban branches; and enlarged its product line. So these bookends probably date in mid 1940's being sold in store, during the exact period of manufacture likely 1946 or 47 just after the war when the molds were dug up.

    Similar Gerdago Girl Bookends, Attribution to H. Fugere. The name Gerdago was given to them sometime in the later 1970's when I first encountered them. Because the dealers at that time knew nothing of these pieces and even that they were made after the second world war, they were often assumed as by Gerdago (now verified sculpted by Fugere) the name stuck for a long time but now so much new information has come to light !!

    These bookends titled Contempler 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 !!

    The best ones had ivorine or plastic faces and the inserts were nicely modelled and painted. The later 70's ones that they made had metal faces ( One piece body) usually painted and are far less desireable.

    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 bookends were by Henri Fugere circa 1930. The Hirsch family gave him that information, as they owned the original moulds. Also to note is that Mr. Berman was recommended to Stanley Hersch when he looked for information. Mr Berman worked with the Hirsch brothers and foundry for over 15 years and in 1966 were having a showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan showing a lot of their work for the first time.

    Harold Berman was a big fan of the quality pieces of the Hirsch Foundry, particularly of the spelter statues they produced and the Encyclopedia that Berman wrote shows a lot of their higher end work also.
    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 with sketched out maps, and the story reads like a real life treasure hunt.

    The originals were sculpted in about 1930. This set has no date but I believe the Hirsch family were producing these especially after 1946 and also in 1966 when they had a big show in NYC showing their new work at that time. They produced some nice ones with alabaster bases and also nice black marble bases mainly, using ivorine for the faces, molded separately at that timespan. The earlier alabaster and marble were made with the finest Italian marbles and alabaster cuts. In the later 70's to 81 or so when the foundry closed, they produced ones with metal faces and metal bases. Usually had a special switch on the cord on the lamp variety no later than around 1960-1970. They were made of Spelter 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 reproduction information it is of note that these were also produced in the 1990's usually with a more elongated body and spurious signatures such as Lorenzel in high relief on the leg, but not by Hirsch. I have seen other pics also which said that they were also made for the Tiffany showrooms, but that info is rather spurious to believe and also unverified, especially since those ones that I saw had harsher black and white metal painted faces.

    I have reproduced a page from The Abage Encyclopedia of Bronzes, Sculptors, & Founders 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 medalic engraver and regularly exhibited at the Salons of the Société des Artistes Français.

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    1. antiquerose antiquerose, 6 years ago
      AAA +++++++++++++++
      As always for your collection !!!!!
    2. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks antiquerose, I appreciate very much.
    3. antiquerose antiquerose, 6 years ago
      You the man -- Finest pieces I have seen !!!
    4. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks antiquerose again.
    5. NevadaBlades, 6 years ago
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 years ago
      Great informative write-up ! Enjoyed it.
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      Pretty spectacular!! And I agree with BB2 on the write-up. That's really great!
    8. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
      What a magnificent write up Phil I learned a lot that I was not aware of . Your knowledge is endless in so many area's of collecting and I love everything you collect ! Exquisite taste and and always a pleasure to see your latest treasure . ox
    9. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks NevadaBlades for the comment !
    10. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thank you blunderbuss2 for the comment !~
    11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks jscotto for the nice compliment !~
    12. courtenayantiques courtenayantiques, 6 years ago
      Beautiful! Thanks for sharing all the great information!
    13. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks Manikin for your support and love, xo Phil.
    14. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thank you courtenayantiques for the nice comment !~
    15. buckethead, 6 years ago
      Great Post. Impeccable taste and excellent background information.
    16. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks buckethead, appreciate your comment !
    17. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the loves petey, NevadaBlades, brunswick, VioletOrange, Caperkid, melaniej, and antiquerose !
    18. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 years ago
      Thank you Tom for the love !~
    19. Vynil33rpm Vynil33rpm, 4 years ago
      Knowledgeable and informative thank you
    20. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 years ago
      Thank you Vynil for the comment !~
    21. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 3 years ago
      Thank you Daisy1000 and ctibor for the loves.
      Thank you Manikin for the love !~xoxo
    22. Lisa32965, 8 months ago
      Hi Phil, love your collection. I'm new to collectors weekly. I wanted to get your thoughts on a piece I recently acquired. How do I show you a pic lol

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