Harlequinade – a pair of bronze bookends by Louis Armand Bardery

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Harlequinade – a pair of bronze bookends by Louis Armand Bardery


Antique Reference 2030

Harlequinade – a pair of bronze bookends



A pair of cire perdu lost wax Art Deco bronze  bookends showing the story of Harlequinade. Harlequin and Columbine in an embrace and Pierrot alone. Sculpted by Louis Armand Bardery (1879-1952) and signed in the bronze . Foundry mark for Valsuani and also marked Cire Perdu (Lost wax) . A beautiful and unusual pair of bookends. These bookends were made in France  c 1920


The Valsuani foundry was started by the Italian brothers Claude and Attilio Valsuani who learned the foundry trade while employed at the famous Hébrard art foundry. While working for Hébrard, Claude Valsuani showed great promise as a finisher and eventually worked his way up to become the Technical Director of the Hébrard foundry. In 1899 Claude Valsuani started his own foundry in Châtillon, casting mostly small works for various artists primarily using the lost wax technique of casting (cire perdue). In 1905 he moved his foundry to 74, rue des Plantes in Paris. Among the better known sculptors who had the Valsuani foundry cast their works were: Degas, Rodin, Renoir, Gauguin, Maillol, Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, Giacometti and Brancusi.

The Valsuani foundry quickly acquired a great reputation, particularly for its outstanding mastery of lost wax casting.

The story of Harlequinade can be traced back to the Italian Comedia dell’arte. For over 150 years Harlequin remained the star of the pantomime, and pantomime was dominated by the Harlequinade, a comic chase scene telling the story of Harlequin and Columbine. The Harlequinade was in mime with music and lots of slapstick and tomfoolery. Every pantomime had a Harlequinade as part of the bill.

The story of the Harlequinade had the same basic format; a chase scene where the two lovers, Harlequin and Columbine, are kept apart by the girl’s father, Pantaloon, whose servants play tricks on him. In the chase the two lovers are pursued by her father and his servant, Pierrot.

Date c 1920

Condition – in excellent original condition

 Dimensions -Approx height 19 cm

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