A Superb Quality and Palatial Pair of French 19th Century Life-Size Cast-Iron Sculptures - Torcheres of Native American Indians Titled "L’ Indienne" Designed by Jules Salmson (French, 1823-1902) and Cast by Le Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne, each standing figure representing a Native American Indian male and a female scantily dressed in their native robes, one arm raised holding a light-torch with an opaline glass globe, both wearing earrings, seashell necklaces and arm-braces, raised on cylindrical cast-iron stand. Signed/Cast on each pedestal: “VAL D’OSNE”. (Electrified). Circa: Paris, 1870-1880.
Overall Height: 127 inches (322.6 cm)
Pedestal Height: 39 inches (99.1 cm)
These fantastic and impressive pair of cast-iron sculptures, most likely representing Hiawatha and Minnehaha, were probably comissioned to Le Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne for export to the America's to decorate governmental buildings and parks which makes these pair a rare find and now available for a private collection. Iron sculptures were preferred over bronze for outdoor park and building decorations for their long lasting resistance to all types of weather conditions.
An identical pair of sculptures, also by Val d' Osne, are currently exhibited at the National Garden of Congress in Santiago, Chile. View Pages No. 87, 88, 89.
Another identical pair are also currently exhibited at The Musée de la Ville - Indian Museum "O Indio do Museo da Cidade" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Another identical pair decorate the front of the Ópera Teatro Amazonas, Manaús, Brazil.
A single figure of the female Indian is on display at The Teatro Alberto Maranhão in Natal, Brazil.
A single figure of the male Indian, probaly the matching pair to the one at the Teatro Alberto Maranhão in Natal, is on display at "L'Indien Parc National de Tijuca" - O indio do Parque Nacional da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne
Established in 1835 by J.P.V. André, the Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne was known for their high quality and extensive collection of cast-iron architectural designed sculptures created exclusively for Victor André by some of the most reputed and established Parisian sculptors like Carrier-Belleuse, Mathurin Moreau, Delaplanche and Pradier. The prolific firm Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne participated in numerous international exhibitions and was acclaimed at the 1857 London Exhibition with a monumental bronze fountain cast with swans and Classical figures. The firm was acquired by Barbezat & Cie. in 1867, and allying with the fondeur J.J. Ducel towards 1870, and was renamed Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux & Fonderies du Val-D'Osne, Anciennes maison J.P.V. André et J.J. Ducel et Fils. The most celebrated work or art cast by the firm would be irrefutably the Parisian subway entrances designed by Hector Guimard. The firm was also known for their comissions by governments to manufacture sculptures and fountains for display at public parks and buildings in major cities around the world.
Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux & Fonderies du Val-D'Osne catalogue.
Jean Jules Salmson (French, 1823-1902)
Salmson exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1859, and worked on various monuments in Paris including those at L'Opera, les Tuileries, and le tribunal de Commerce. As well as being known, according to H. Berman, Bronzes Sculptors & Founders, Abage Encyclopedia, Chicago, 1980, for his Orientalist subject matter and for his statues of great historical figures such as Shakespeare, Rubens, Hamlet and Byron.