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Contemplar by Henri Fugere, NOT by Gerdago, Rare Colour Red

In Art Deco > Art Deco Bronze > Show & Tell and Books > Bookends > Show & Tell.
betweenthelens's loves1231 of 1685Inez The ForgottenAirplane Ashtray Stand With Pipe Holder, by Metalcraft Mfg. Co. Ltd Circa 1953
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (176 items)

    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 as they had the original signed moulds. 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, with maps in hand they were dug up by the Hirsch family, who had the knowledge and maps 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. Usually 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 in length.

    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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    1. Newfld Newfld, 4 years ago
      They're so beautiful
    2. Manikin Manikin, 4 years ago
      Gorgeous and what a informative write up Phil . I always learn so much when you post one of your fabulous collections . Love Love !
    3. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you Newfld for the nice comment !~
    4. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you Manikin for the love and following my posts, xoxo
    5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you nutsabotas6, appreciated !~
    6. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 4 years ago
    7. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thank you betweenthelens !~
    8. inky inky, 4 years ago
      Still love these!..:-) xo
    9. vintagelamp vintagelamp, 4 years ago
      Beautiful! Love the red color!
    10. Tigra, 4 years ago
      Beautiful and very informative post!
    11. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the comments and love tigra, vintagelamp, and much love to the beautiful inky !!
    12. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 12 months ago
      Thanks Hoot60, most appreciated !~
    13. Damonways Damonways, 7 months ago
      really nice Phil.....
    14. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 7 months ago
      Thanks Damon, I still think these are real nice. I have some smaller pair similar but the woman? looks like a man. They are different and not as nice.

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