"A GAME OF DICE" AFTER MODEL BY PAUL EMILE MACHAULT (FRENCH, 1800-1866)
Patinated Bronze, Marble, Gilt Ormolu, c. the last quarter of the 19th Century
Item # 1404NYP26P
This is a very finely cast sculpture of three putti intensely focused on a game of dice, the standing figure betting his apple on the result of the toss. The three figures are so serious, the seated figure pensive as he counts the dice, the standing putto clearly optimistic and excited. It is probably cast a few years after the death of Paul Emile Machault, who died in Paris in 1866 - the Benezit notes his work continued to be exhibited at Salon from 1833 until 1879, several years after he died. The foundry work is clearly excellent, each figure cast with utmost purity and exquisite detailing: the fingernails, toes, dice, hair, wrinkles and garments are chiseled and chased with utmost care, leaving a sharp and highly detailed surface. It is a complex piece, cast in many parts with the lost-wax method, these members flawlessly joined and nearly invisible beneath the highly variated patina. The sculpture is set over an original solid marble base with a scrolling acanthus ormolu mount at the focal point over a ring of gilded beading. For serious collectors of French bronze sculptures, particularly those passionate about the Romantics, this is an outstanding acquisition.
Measurements: 11 1/4" total height; sculpture 7" high (bronze sculpture only, marble base excluded)
Light abrasion to standing putto's shoulder; impression to standing putto's buttock; light patina wear to figures throughout. Crevices dusty. Gilt mount on front just a bit loose - solder repair to left scroll of this regilded mount. Please review all images in the slideshow for a full overview of condition.