19th century French bronze garden urn
Dimensions: 65 cm wide, 51 cm high
Condition: Very good condition.
Literature: This firm started with Charles Cyprien Thiébaut (1769-1830). The son of a tanner, he worked in a small firm, for which he became director in 1787. He later went into partnership with his son Charles Antoine Floréal, born in 1794, who in 1827 would act as the sole director of the firm, under the name of Thiébaut Sr. He established himself on the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis and manufactured copper cylinders for the impression of canvases as well as objet d'art.
In turn, Charles Antoine worked with his own son Victor (born 1828) under the trade name Thiébaut et fils. They produce some industrial castings and art bronzes. Victor Thiébaut, who was soon left alone with the business, brought the firm to great prosperity. In 1851, he created a foundry for art pieces, from which he initially issued some unrefined castings, which he sent to other manufacturers (including Barbedienne) for finishing he started next to produce editions for different sculptors such as David d'Angers (La Liberte and the 548 medallions, these latter offered to customers at prices between 7.50 and 30 francs), Carpeaux (Le Pecheur a la coquille), Diéboit (La France renumeratrice), Falguiere (LeVainqueur au combat de coqs), Carrier-Belleuse (Le Baiser d'une mere) Paul Dubois, Moulin, Ottin, Cumberworth, and Pradier. He also made some vases, cops, and fireplace fittings. In 1864 he brought back a number of models from the Eck and Durand foundry, which had just stopped all activity. Victor Thiébaut also made some monumental castings, like the Saint Michel terrasant le Dragon by Duret for the fountain of Saint Michel, and the Napoleon Ier by Dumont for the Vendome column.
Increasingly affected by blindness, in 1870 Victor Thiébaut left his enterprise to his three sons, Victor (1849-1908), Jules (1854-1898), and Henri-who was also a sculptor (1855-1899). After having manufactured arms during the hostilities, in 1877 Thiébaut Freres moved their studios from the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis to 32 Rue de Villiers (the future Rue Guersant) and in 1880 opened a store on 32 Avenue de l'Opera. Among the countless bronzes issued by the foundry during this period, some monumental works are of note: Gloria Victis by Mercié, the monument to the Défense de Paris by Barrias, the Alexandre Dumas Pére by Gustave Doré, and from the same artists, the colossal vase of the Vigne (today at the Museum of San Francisco), Etienne Marcel by Idrac finished by Marqueste for the City Hall, the Republique by Morice, Charlemagne from the Marquet Brothers, and the reduction of Liberte by Bartholdi for the Grenelle bridge. Thiebault Freres participated in a number of exhibitions and acquired an international reputation.
Shortly before the death of his two brothers, Victor Thiébaut found himself alone at the head of the firm. He executed the casting of the Triomphe de la Republique, the large group by Dalou erected at the center of the Plaza de la Nation. It was then that he yielded a part of firm to Fumiere and Gavignot. This house, which marked its bronzes "Thiébaut Freres, Fumière and Gavignot successors," continue to produce numerous editions. In 1898, Rodin signed tenure contracts with the firm for editions of Saint Jean Baptiste and Jeunesse triomphante in many sizes. As for Victor Thiébaut, he sold his foundry in 1901 to Gasne, who was followed first by Malesset, and then by Fulda. In 1919, Fumière (alone this time) bought from Fulda the right to cast easing the name Thiébaut Freres. The firm stopped its activity in 1926 and all models were sold.