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Vase - The Prey

The Prey

  • Object:

    Vase

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1895-1905 (made)
    1895 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ledru, Auguste, born 1860 - died 1902 (designer)
    Susse Frères (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Patinated bronze

  • Museum number:

    M.24-1998

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Auguste Ledru (1860-1902) was a pupil of Dumont, Bonnassieux, Thomas and Boisseaux and he made his debut at the Salon of 1883. Although he can be regarded as a sculptor, his career was principally involved with the decorative arts, designing vases, cups, dinner services and ornamental fountains in plaster, bronze and pewter.

The firm of Susse Frères, which was one of the largest and most successful French bronze foundries in the latter half of the 19th century, manufactured this Ledru-designed vase. It is of patinated bronze, with marine and erotic imagery, cast and applied in high relief. The fully modelled figure of a reclining female nude rests on a rock surrounded by a bed of seaweed. Her face is tilted upwards, her hair tied behind in a chignon, her two arms swept backwards, the right supported on a rock while the left is clutching the trailing tentacle of a large octopus, her left knee is raised and extends over the right thigh. Around the figure and across the surface of the vase are swirling waters, seething with three finned fish and a large octopus clinging to the neck in high relief. The head of the octopus protrudes above the upper rim, its tentacles wrap around the throat of the vessel.

Physical description

Vase of patinated bronze, with marine and erotic imagery, cast and applied in high relief; the body is surmounted by a tall throat and flares and recedes to a circular base with a half, moulded rim. The fully modelled figure of a reclining female nude rests on a rock surrounded by a bed of seaweed on the upper slope of the body of the vase, her face is tilted upwards, her hair tied behind in a chignon, her two arms swept backwards, the right supported on a rock while the left is clutching the trailing tentacle of a large octopus, her left knee is raised and extends over the right thigh. The figure is attached to the wall of the vase by two threaded steel bolts. Around the figure and across the surface of the vase are swirling waters, seething with three finned fish and a large octopus clinging to the neck in high relief. The head of the octopus protrudes above the upper rim, its tentacles wrap around the throat of the vessel.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1895-1905 (made)
1895 (designed)

Artist/maker

Ledru, Auguste, born 1860 - died 1902 (designer)
Susse Frères (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Patinated bronze

Marks and inscriptions

Ledru
1) Signature; Facsmile signature; On the lower, inward sloping section of the body.; Engraved

COPYRIGHT / BY / SUSSE FRERES / 1895
Maker's identification; English; On the base; Stamped

Dimensions

Height: 44 cm, Width: 35.4 cm maximum, Diameter: 32.7 cm

Descriptive line

La Proie (The Prey), Vase with marine and erotic imagery, Bronze, Paris 1895-1905, designed by Auguste Ledru, made by Susse Freres

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Susse Frères, 1905 Sales Catalogue, Paris 1905, p.16 ill.
Cadet, Pierre. Susse Frères 150 Years of Sculpture, Paris, Susse Frères 1992, p.206 ill. ISBN 0948308133
Kader, Alexander, The Concentrated Essence of a Wiggle: Art Nouveau Sculpture In Paul Greenhalgh, ed. Art Nouveau 1890-1914 London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2000 p.253. ill. Publication to accompany the exhibition held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 6 April - 31 July 2000. ISBN 1851772774
Greenhalgh, Paul Ed., Art Nouveau : 1890 - 1914. London: V&A Publications, 2000. 452p., 16.3pl,

Materials

Bronze

Techniques

Cast

Subjects depicted

Octopus

Categories

Metalwork; Vases

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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