Antiques connect us with our past. Sometimes this is a heritage we share with our ancestors, and at other times it is vastly different.
We often collect antiques in order to learn about our own history, but it can also teach us a wealth of information about other cultures.
Here at Patrick Moorhead Antiques, one of the UK’s largest antique dealers, we come across a huge quantity of items, all of which have their own stories to tell.
This month we have selected five of these stories, from Italy, France and Austria, all of which happen to be in statue form. Hopefully, our top picks for August will captivate and inspire you as much as they have inspired us.
1. Bronze houndsman – Henri Honoré Plé
A dramatic piece for your collection, this 19th-century bronze statue is both beautiful and thought-provoking. Depicting a houndsman with his two hounds, the haunting features of the central figure demonstrates Henri Honoré Plé’s artistic maturity. The French sculptor, born in 1853, was a student of Gerault and Mathurin Moreau. He was a member of the Societe des Artistes Francais, and from 1877 until 1900 he actively exhibited and won several medals for his work.
Take a closer at this bronze statue here.
2. 19th-century bronze of Harmonie – Carrier Belleuse
This stunning antique bronze statue would be the talking point of nearly any collection. One of the most sought-after pieces from French sculptor Carrier Belleuse, this 19th-century statue features ‘Harmonie’ and her lyre resting upon a column. Belleuse (born Albert-Ernest Carrier de Belleuse, 12 June 1824 – 4 June 1887) was considered one of the finest sculptors of his time, and there is no better example of his genius than in this mythology-inspired statue. Inscribed Carrier Belleuse on the side of the column Harmonie is sitting on, she holds a lyre in one hand whilst seemingly getting ready to move.
Read more about Harmonie here.
3. E. Rosa carved 19th-century Italian marble statue of a nude
An excellent example of Italian marble sculpting, this 19th-century statue of a nude maiden would be an eye-catching addition to your home. Standing at over 100cm tall, this marble statue is no shrinking violet! Signed by E. Rosa, it depicts an intriguing young woman attempting to hide her face. Is she embarrassed, sorrowful or merely tired? The beauty of an antique is that you get to take it home and decide for yourself.
Discover this exquisite marble statue here.
4. Goldscheider terracotta boy
This impressive terracotta statue would be a conversation starter in any collection. This late-19th-century Goldscheider statue features a young black boy wearing his finest clothes and sitting on a bamboo chair. Made in Austria, this diverting piece is sure to be a talking point.
Take a closer look at this cheeky chap here.
5. Graux Marly large bronze statue of a classical female figure, 19th-century
A show-stopping number. This bronze statue depicts a beautiful female figure draped in cloth. This is a lovely example of the 19th-century interpretation of classical bronze sculptures and would serve as an excellent centrepiece to a more extensive collection or as a standalone work of art. Inscribed Graux Marly Jules and originating from Graux’s foundry, which was based at 8 rue du Parc-Royal from 1860 onwards.
The foundry was well known for producing bronze candelabra, clocks and statues and cast statues of some of the most renowned sculptors of the day, including Carrier Belleuse who also features in this list of our top pick (No. 2).
Learn more about this stunning 19th-century treasure here.