"Barbedienne, Gilt Bronze And Ivory Letter-opener, Original Box"Rare ivory and gilt bronze letter-opener, presented in its original box
by Ferdinand Barbedienne.
length 28,7 cm
box 34 x 7 cm
Rare letter-opener made in ivory for the blade and gilded bronze for the handle. The latter was designed in the Louis XVI style with motifs of acanthus and laurel leaves.
Presented in its original box, also signed Barbedienne and preserved with its green silk fitting in excellent condition.
From an oral source, this piece was exhibited at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878.
Born in 1810, Ferdinand Barbedienne started one of the most famous 19th century artistic bronze casting companies. He died in 1892. In addition to his personal production, he worked for famous artists such as Clésinger, Carrière-Belleuse and Guillemin. Barbedienne’s production was always highly esteemed and he was, himself admired by contemporary art critics who compared him during the 1878 Universal Exhibition to a «prince of industry and the king of bronze-casting». He was there awarded the «Grand Prix» as well as 28 cooperator medals. His glory did not decline with the passage of the time for at the Universal Exhibition of 1889 the critics thanked Barbedienne for the example he set for other bronze-casters by the perfection of his bronzes.