Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 9

Large French 19th Century Cast-Iron Fountain Figure of a Seated Nude Maiden



A Fine and Large French 19th Century Cast-Iron Fountain Figure Modeled as a Nude Maiden Seated on a Rocky Outcrop Holding a Cornucopia in Her Raised Right Hand, by J.J Ducel. Cast-Signed "J.J. DUCEL Me de FORGES, PARIS". Circa: Paris, 1880. A retailer of fine cast-iron ornaments, J. J. Ducel was recorded as supplying cast-iron works through Paris as early as 1810 in the Pas-de-Calais. The factory was sold in 1878 to the Fonderie de la Haute-Marne and all of the firm's models were subsequently bought by the Val d'Osne foundry. However, prior to the firm's sale, critics at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle proclaimed that "Ducel is the great manufacturer of works in cast-iron, to whom Paris is so largely indebted for the grace and elegance that supply so many of the adornments of its streets". Ducel, Val d'Osne and other associated foundries produced both bronze and cast-iron statuary. Cast-iron is corrosive, whereas non-ferrous bronze does not suffer the same detrimental effects of weathering and is therefore a superior and more expensive material. Height: 51 1/2 inches (130.8 cm) Width: 22 inches (55.9 cm) Depth: 30 inches (76.2 cm) The foundry of Val d'Osne became highly regarded for the varied nature and quality of its castings in the second half of the 19th century. Commonly known after 1870 as simply Val D'Osne, the company was originally founded by J.P.V. André in Val d'Osne 1835 and developed rapidly, absorbing smaller foundries in the Haute-Marne area east of Paris. The foundry contributed to the London International Exhibition of 1851, where a bronze fountain cast with classical figures attracted much attention. André also specialised in fancy castings and architectural fittings. His Paris adress was at 14 Rue Neuve, Menilmontant. In 1855 the Barbezat & Cie Foundry was born out of the André workshop. In 1867 Barbezat & Cie changed its name to Houille & Cie. Then, in 1870, it changed its name to Société Anonyme du Val d'Osne. With the change of name came the change of casting mark and adress: Fonderies d'Art du Val d'Osne, 58 Bd Voltaire, Paris or simply Val d'Osne. Cast-iron had been in production during the 18th century but its inferior status to the more fashionable and delicate wrought-iron had generally confined its use to architectural work. By the early 19th century, however, rapid developments of the Industrial Revolution combined with the simultaneous burgeoning of a new middle class provided the impetus for a dramatic expansion in its application and in a short space of time a proliferation of iron foundries across Europe and America thrived on the production of everything from inkstands to railway stations. The use of cast-iron for garden ornament became particularly widespread at this time, as the possibilities for its mass-production at a fraction of the cost of bronze made it the material of choice for indoor/outdoor statuary, figural lighting, fountains and vases. Nowhere was the popularity and use of cast-iron ornament greater than in France, where by the second half of the 19th century two foundries in particular had come to dominate production both for the home market and for export. The more important of these was the officially named Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux et Fonderies du Val-D'Osne, Anciennes maisons J.P.V. André et J.J. Ducel et Fils. Smaller than Val D'Osne but nevertheless a major player in the manufacture of cast-iron was the firm of A. A. Durenne, established in 1847 at Sommevoire. Both Val D'Osne and Durenne were frequently awarded medals for their work at the many international exhibitions of the latter half of the 19th century. Each also published large catalogues illustrating and listing its entire inventory of models, from which casts of varying size and finish could be ordered. A life-size bronze model of a stallion, cast by J.J. Ducel Par et Fils, circa 1867 - Dunsborough Park: Garden statuary from the collection of Baron and Baroness Sweerts de Landas Wyborgh was sold at Christie's London, South Kensignton 19-20 June 2013, Sale 4300, Lot 200 for £205,875 (USD $317,665) Ref.: A1968


  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 51.5 in. (130.81 cm)Width: 22 in. (55.88 cm)Depth: 30 in. (76.2 cm)
  • Style
    Classical Greek (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Circa: Paris, 1880
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading. Overall condition is excellent. As being made of cast iron it can be used outdoors or for a fountain. Fine detail and very decorative subject. Patina is recent.
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: Ref.: A19681stDibs: LU179624418873

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Los Angeles, CA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1982
1stDibs seller since 2016
57 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

19th Century Large Circular Garden Fountain Neptune, Italian Limestone Fountain
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Monumental antique Italian three-tiered garden fountain. Four Cariatidi surround the center base raising the water which spells from the waved shells. The second tier is supported by...

Antique Early 19th Century Italian Baroque Fountains



19th Century French Marble and Bronze Fountain
Located in Essex, MA
19th century French marble and bronze fountain. Seated satyr on marble column with marble shell basin. Later cast stone plinth. Wonderful garden element.   

Antique Late 19th Century French Louis XV Figurative Sculptures


Marble, Bronze

Fountain of Bronze Mermaid Seated on Tortoise, 20th Century
Located in London, GB
A fantastically detailed bronze mermaid woman seated upon a large tortoise. She appears to be playing a musical instrument, such as a horn, which acts as a fountain and can be viewed...

20th Century French Figurative Sculptures



American Cast Bronze Garden Fountain with Figural Boy Holding Koi Fish. C. 1870
Located in Charleston, SC
American cast bronze garden fountain with standing figural boy holding Koi fish on a two-tiered shell form scrolled base with turtle at his feet, Late 19th century.

Antique 1870s American American Empire Fountains


Bronze, Copper

Cast Iron Fountain Sculpture "Boy with Goose" Signed Antoine Durenne Fonderie
By A. Durenne
Located in Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires
Cast iron fountain sculpture "Boethus Boy with goose" signed Antoine Durenne Fonderie, France, late 19th century. Green marble pedestal dimensions: 95 cm height.

Antique Late 19th Century French Neoclassical Figurative Sculptures



French 18th Century Primitive Carved Stone Fountain Head
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Beautiful carved stone fountain head with a great expression, France, circa 1750. Weathered.

Antique 18th Century French French Provincial Fountains



Pair of Extra Large Bronze Elizabethan Page Boy Fountains Statues, 20th Century
Located in London, GB
Stunning pair of large bronze statues in the form of a pair of Elizabethan page boys. Each boy holds the urn from where the water would trickle. There is an inlet at the back of the ...

20th Century European Figurative Sculptures



Pair of 19th Century French Classical Finely Cast Bronze Maiden Statues
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Quality pair of 19th century figural bronze statues. The pair features left and right facing maidens holding urn form vessels. The casting is of superior quality as can be seen by th...

Antique Mid-19th Century French Classical Greek Figurative Sculptures



The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery