Here is an intriguing example of French portraiture created just a short time before the revolution in France. It stands seven and a half inches high, including the square base covered in antique purple velvet. It reminds me of the preparatory sketches that artists would make in the process of creating a life-size sculpture. The inscription on the back of the neck appears to read: “Mr. O’Riquer, Ville 1783” and the base of the pedestal is signed “de Marboeuf.” Actually, it could be Mr. Triquet,” which is an actual surname in France, but that’s just a guess. I have no idea who Monsieur O’Riquer was (if that’s actually the correct reading), but looking at the clothing he seems to have been a clergyman of some sort. He is perhaps the subject of the bust, rather than the artist, but it's hard to know for sure. Marbeuf is an area of Normandy. There doesn’t seem to be any damage, except that the cloth on the base is very worn in some areas. The bust has picked up some surface dirt from handling over the ages, but that adds to its charm. It could be easily cleaned, but I think it displays very well as is.

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Ceramics, Decorative, Faience, Porcelain, Pottery
Georgian, Rococo
France • French

Laureate Antiques

18thc French Sculpture: a Terra Cotta Bust Signed and Dated 1783


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