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Statuette - Workman with a Shovel
  • Workman with a Shovel
    Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902
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Workman with a Shovel

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1894 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902 (sculptor)
    Susse Frères (casters (people))

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr Neville Goodman

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 4

Dalou believed in traditional craftsmanship and disapproved of the contemporary practice of producing sand-cast sculpture in large quantities. This model is signed by the artist as well as by the foundry that cast it. It was intended for a large-scale monument but never brought to completion. This figure is cast by the lost-wax method. Inscribed ‘DALOU’ and ‘cire perdue’ on the back of the base and ‘Susse Frs Edn Paris’on the front. Stamped with the foundry mark ‘SUSSE FRERES PARIS LOITEURS’ and, in the middle, a trademark of blacksmiths’ tools.

Dalou (1838-1902) was the son of a glove maker and initially trained in drawing at the Petit École in Paris. There he was encouraged to do sculpture. In 1854 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he trained for four years. He was known for his left-wing political sympathies and was involved in the establishment of the Paris Commune in 1871. After his overthrow he was forced into exile in London, where he lived from 1871 until his return to Paris in 1879. In London he frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy and he was given a teaching appointment at the National Art Training School in South Kensington (later the Royal College of Art), where he had a profound effect on the development of British sculpture.

Physical description

The worker stands clasping a large spade in both hands. He is bare-chested, and wears a brimmed hat and baggy trousers. The front of the base is inscribed 'Suss Frs Edn Paris'. A brass stamp set into the back of the piece is inscribed 'Susse Freres Paris Loiteurs'; in the middle of the stamp is a trademark of blacksmiths' tools.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1894 (made)


Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902 (sculptor)
Susse Frères (casters (people))

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'Susse Frs Edn Paris'
Inscribed on the front of the base

A brass stamp Set into the back is inscribed with those words and in the middle of the stamp is a trademark of blacksmiths' tools

on the back at the right

'cire perdue'
on the back of the base to the left


Height: 19.22 cm

Object history note

Given together with A.17 to A.30 and A.32 by Dr Neville Goodman, C.B. in 1971. Transferred to the Bethnal Green Museum in 1974, and returned to the V&A in 1983.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, Workman with a shovel, by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), made in Paris, about 1894

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

Bilbey, Diane with Marjorie Trusted. British sculpture 1470 to 2000 : a concise catalogue of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London : V&A Publications, 2002, p.250, cat. no. 379
Dreyfous, M. Dalou: Sa Vie et son Oeuvre, Paris, 1903, p. 261
Caillaux, M. Dalou (1838-1902): L'Homme- L'Oeuvre, Paris, 1935, p. 152, no. 122

Production Note

Cast from a maquette made by Dalou for his projected Workers' Monument.



Subjects depicted

Worker; Shovel




Sculpture Collection

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