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"Cerf Commun", bronze sculpture | Pierre Jules Mene

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Signed "P.J. Mene" in naturalistic base; atelier cast, circa 1840s
Item # 005FXP27P 

A rare and exquisite mid-19th century sand-cast model of a stag deer executed in Pierre-Jules Mêne's own atelier, it is a silky and finely detailed model with a reddish-brown oxide surface patina preserved under wax. The steady yet delicate movements of the animal are captured beautifully in this small bronze. He walks through a naturalistic base with strewn foliage and a crisp signature "P.J. MENE". The base styling and joinery gives some indication of the early casting date.

Artist Listings & Further Reading:

  • Bronzes of the 19th Century: A Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, 1994; see p. 472-75 for the Susse catalog of Mene and Cain's work noting this sculpture as no. 123 titled "Cerf Commun" with dimensions of 17 cm h, 18 cm l, and a price of 50 francs; the catalog also lists "Cerf Muntjak" of the same dimensions, which is a right facing model that was likely cast in conjunction with this model, as the two compliment eachother beautifully; see Christopher Payne's "Animals in Bronze" for a model of "Cerf Muntjak" (2002, p. 186, f. De10)
  • The Animaliers, James Mackay, 1973, p. 149; as part of Mackay's reproduction of a fragment of Mene's catalogue, he includes two lists of works with dimensions; the present work is likely no. 6 from the "Supplementary List", noted as 'Stag with eight-point crown, 18cm, 7"'
  • Bronze Sculpture of 'Les Animaliers', Jane Horswell, 1971, p.106; noted as "Walking Stag" circa 1840s with 6 1/2" height in dark patination

Measurements: 7 1/4" W (base 6 1/4" W) x 2 3/8" D x 6 1/8" H

Condition Report:
In exceptional condition, original patina with very minor handling wear.