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This is an unusual and whimsical 19th century bronze figure. The jolly old bear sits on a tree stump, holding an umbrella. It is probably the work of Cristophe Fratin (signed Fratin at the bottom back right side of piece), a noted French sculptor in the animalier style. It dates from the mid nineteenth century and comes from Paris. We sell the holder only, the hatpins are for display use only.
Christopher Fratin (1 January 1801 – 17 August 1864) was one of the earliest French sculptors to portray animals in bronze. His work is displayed around the world. His small bronzes were sold commercially during his lifetime.
This charming fellow holds an umbrella in one hand and a rattle in another. The umbrella has holes for placing long hatpins into the bronze as a holding place. The tips of the hatpins rest upon the bottom base. The bear's face is detailed, he has a laughing expression. His thick clumps of fur are portrayed nicely as are his feet and hands. He sits on a large tree stump. The entire figure is made of cast bronze. It measures:7 1/2" tall, 3" wide at the top, 3" wide at the bottom.
The figural holder is in good and solid condition. Some of the holes in the umbrella are not opened entirely, but this is original to the cast figure. There are no other noticeable flaws.
We sell the hatpin holder only (the hatpins are used for display purposes only).
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French Bronze Figural Hatpin Holder (Bear and Umbrella)
French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings