This impressive pair of highly detailed antique military figures were cast in France, circa 1890. Both soldiers stand in a classical pose known as contrapposto, where subjects are depicted with an uneven weight distribution to the feet, implying movement. The men have subtle gilt highlights to their armaments, adding additional life to their stance.
Both soldiers stand on shaped plinths adorned with motifs of egg and dart, foliate margents emanating from gadrooned shells, and scrolls surrounding an arch-shaped leaf. The figures are clad in different armor and one man is fully bearded (while the other has a mustache only), but they are clearly depicting men from the same region. Both men are wearing gilded visored helmets adorned with feather crests. They also have textured capes flowing behind their backs.
The soldier with the mustache is holding his right gauntlet in his hand as he looks off to his right. The sword on his left hip and the dagger on his right have gilded highlights. His piecemeal armor includes plated spaulders (medieval shoulder coverings), a cuirass and knee-high greaves with tassels and a gilded buckle on the foot. Several of the pieces are adorned with fleur de lys and rinceaux as well. The bearded soldier has spiked spaulders and poleyns (knee protection) and lace-up boots with gilded tassels. He is looking towards his left with his gloved left hand on his chest. In his right hand is a dagger that has been drawn from a gilt accented sheath on his right hip.
Cast in regule (spelter), these detailed military figures are a treat to inspect. Nearly every centimeter is covered with some decorative embellishment, each solider with distinct attributes, but complimentary with similar overall style. Similar statues were created by the 19th century German sculptor Arthur Waagen, as well as Albert Carrier-Belleuse, a famed French sculptor of the 1800s. The soldiers show exceptional movement and have a wonderful patina. They can be displayed on a console or side table, or they could be repurposed into a pair of lamps.
Dimensions provided show the largest width and depth. Both are same height.
Statue 1 (soldier with mustache only): W-12, D-11. Statue 2 (bearded soldier): W-14, D-9.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, with light damage to the arm and helmet of the mustachioed soldier. Minor losses, specifically to the feather on the helmet of the soldier with the full beard. Professional restoration to the cape of one soldier.
H-28 3/8, W-14, D-11
Pair of Highly Detailed Cast Antique Military Figures with Gilt Accents