An exceedingly fine lifetime casting of Ane du Morac (a Moroccan Donkey) by Jules Edmond Masson, this intricately detailed model was presented in wax at the 1891 Salon des Artistes exposition on the Champs Elysees in Paris. The pack animal is intricately fitted in a manner that captured the European fascination with "Orientalism". From the pommel or perhaps the horn hangs a woven net grasping a double-handled jug of water, this leather saddle is chiseled with geometrical decorations, letters and tassels. Even the outward facing sides of the stirrups are incised with angular decorations. A complex harness complete with strapping and a twisted rope bring the donkey to a halt, presumably waiting for a rider to loosen the bearing rein from the saddle. He stands over a naturalistic base with the signature "J.E. Masson" cast into the bronze. The underside is a tidy construction with four hand-cut nuts affixing the donkey from below.
This rare model by Masson is a fascinating image, not only depicting a handsome working donkey with utmost technical precision and anatomical accuracy, but also a provides a small window of historical perspective to the nostalgia Masson's clients in industrialized Europe sought to fulfill in models of simpler times.
Literature & Further Reading: "Société des Artistes Français, Pour L'Exposition des Beaux-Arts 1891: Explication des Ouvrages de Peinture, Sculpteur, Architecture, Gravure et Lithographie des Artistes Vivants", p. 242
Measurements: 12" H x 10" W x 4 3/8" D; base 9 1/8" W
Condition Report: Exceptional original condition.
“Moroccan Donkey” French Bronze Sculpture by Jules Edmond Masson