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  #1  
Old 01-03-2007, 04:43 PM
chiggy56 chiggy56 is offline
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Question Picault Sculpture

Hi! I am new to this site and this is my first thread.
We have been given a sculpture that is approx 13-14" tall, looks
like bronze, has E PICAULT enscribed in the base and on the
front its title is "Le fer". Can anyone tell me anything about this
figure? I can try to put a picture of it here, if anyone would like
to see it for more information. Thanx!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2007, 07:31 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

I believe Le fer is French for “iron”, though that seems an odd title for a sculpture. Perhaps another meaning is something like ferocious, wild, or strong. We have several active French-speaking members, and one of them might help.

And, yes, a picture or several would help. The sculptor’s name sounds familiar, but I can’t recall anything specific. I’ll try Google as soon as I have a chance.

[Added later] Picault is in many Google posts. He worked in Paris, with lifespan given as 1839-1915. I’m afraid he seems to be copied often, as his “works” are available from venders who fairly clearly do that sort of thing.

All the references I found to "le fer" in a brief search do seem to refer to "iron", so perhaps that describes the original material and not the subject. All this says a picture or more would be enlightening.

Last edited by fritchie : 01-03-2007 at 08:29 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2007, 08:32 PM
chiggy56 chiggy56 is offline
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Smile Re: Picault Sculpture

I will upload a picture soon. The sculpture is by Emile Louis Picault. That
is all I know. It really is a beautiful piece. Any info on its history/value would
be very valuable. Thankyou for responding!
Chiggy56
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2007, 09:38 AM
chiggy56 chiggy56 is offline
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Smile Re: Picault Sculpture

Thankyou for the reply! Here are few pictures of this
figure. I believe the red base is marble. This figure is
quite heavy. I remeasured it last night and it stands
approx 13 1/2".
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:27 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

In volume three of " Bronzes Sculptors and Founders " by Berman, figure 2468 is called " Le Fer" ( The Sword )by Emile Louis Picault " However, it is 25" tall and is a completely different composition than yours. The blacksmith in this one is standing next to his anvil and holding a sword point downward. It is from 1885. It states that it is a variation of his " Le Fer et Le Feu " ( the Fire and the Sword )

About Picault, the book states, " Over a fifty year career marked more by defeat than victory at the Paris salons, Picault worked tirelessly producing approximately one thousand exciting sculptures.
His choice of subjects was predominately male. Many extraordinary plaques and medallions have survived while only a handful of busts exist. Among his repeated themes were memorial monuments, famous men, blacksmiths, warriors, knights and musicians. these were often accompanied by inspiring inscriptions drawn from the Latin.
Some works were cast in as many as four sizes....Perhaps ten percent of his work was originally cast in white metal..."

This book has at over a dozen of his works illustrated, one of my favorites being the depiction of a 15th century knight called " Le Provocateur " which exhudes confidence and strength in the pose and well-modeled expression.

GlennT
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2007, 07:21 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

From your pictures, I would guess either that "le fer" can mean "ironworker" as well as “iron”, or that the title as found on the work is incorrect. As I said earlier, I suspect this may be a modern reproduction, and it is possible the foundry workers, making slight alterations, inserted a linguistically incorrect title. I hope I’m wrong about this.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2007, 06:19 PM
chiggy56 chiggy56 is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Funny you should say that! I have found this picture of this statue, but
the tool this one holds looks only partial. Otherwise, from what I can tell, the statue is the same. The one I have is a whole tool. Also, this one IS called "The Blacksmith". How can we find out about our sculpture? This is starting to be a major unsolved mystery!!
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2007, 07:14 PM
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Re: Picault Sculpture

This one is holding a different tool in his right hand, some sort of short tongs or clippers, whereas your figure is holding long, sturdy tongs that could manipulate something directly in a forge.

Frankly, I find your figure much better. Although the view and lighting are different, both the right forearm in the second figure, just below the elbow, and also the left arm, especially the muscle running past the elbow, look quite awkward in the second one. The second torso also strikes me as more awkward, though it is hard to be specific here. Also, I find the coloring in that one gaudy. None of this says the green one is a copy of inferior quality, but I rate it as that from these images.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:12 PM
chiggy56 chiggy56 is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

I just wanted to thank everybody for all your help and great information!
I think I am going to bring it to an appraiser.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2007, 06:05 AM
anne (bxl) anne (bxl) is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

I confirm that "le fer" means the iron.
the ironworker is "le ferronnier".
the sword is "l'épée"
strike with swords might be translated by "battre le fer" as swords where originaly made of iron.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2007, 01:15 PM
spitfire spitfire is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Hi,
just found this topic while googling for Picault...
Does anybody have a picture of "Le Fer" as described by GlennT (more like the 25" version of it).
We have this bronze in our family for ages but it misses the point of the sword.
I have not been able to find any picture of how the complete sword is supposed to look.
I found a local artist willing to restore the sword tip but would rather have it looking like the original one of course...

Here are a couple of pictures of the bronze.

Thanks for your help.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2007, 03:47 PM
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Re: Picault Sculpture

In my book the photo has the sword blade missing and appears just as yours does, with a note that the sword blade, vulnerable to shipping, is missing.
Is this just a coincidence or was it perhaps made as depicted? If the work is bronze and at that scale, I do not see why the blade would be that prone to breakage, especially if packed with any degree of care.

GlennT
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2007, 09:14 PM
dilida dilida is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Shouldn't you be able to tell if the sword was broken off, or if the piece was cast as is? Look at the bottom of the hand and see what it looks like. Maybe it's a re-cast?

lisa
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2007, 04:47 AM
spitfire spitfire is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

No, the blade is not broken, just lost
There is a small screw on each side of the guy's hand (bellow the hand and above the guard).

The handle is still there in my case (you can see from the pictures that it does not really sit straight on the guard) and can be easily unscrewed.
(The hammer handle on the anvil in the back is also screwed on, maybe not easy to cast such protruding bits...)

There used to be a blade, but it has unfortunately been lost by my grandmother (she used it as an envelope opener...), you can guess from the close-up picture the tip of the screw underneath the hand.

It is definitely bronze and probably too fine to be a re-cast... but I am not an expert.
It has been in the family for ages, and used to have 2 other similar sized friends. Nobody can remember what were the themes of the 2 other ones except that they formed a set (a bit like Earth, Wind and Fire, but with Iron, ... and ...), and they disappeared at some point... Any idea of what were his friends?

GlennT, could you please make a scan of the pictures and information you have ?
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2007, 11:34 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Hi Spitfire:

I have scanned and uploaded the part of the page which also includes my favorite of Picault's, Le Provacateur. Although his sword is sheathed, perhaps that can help in regards to the length for yours.

If the scan is too small I apologize, as I have to guess at my resizing the image, not knowing how the scan and its pixel dimensions will translate into file kbs and not exceed the 64 kb maximum.

GlennT
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2007, 11:41 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Okay. Too small to read the print. It says:

2468. LE FER
By Emile Louis Picault Wk: c1860-1915
France. c1885. Pt: Gray-brown. Ht: 25"
Founder: E. Colin & Cie., Paris
" Le Fer", The Sword, is a variation of Picault's " Le
Fer et Le Feu", The Fire and the Sword. Piece exalts profession of the swordmaker specialist. Long blade vulnerable to shipping is missing.


GlennT
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2007, 07:54 PM
dilida dilida is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Hey Spitfire,

I'm glad it isn't a re-cast! Whenever I get to see these old bronzes up close the quality of craftsmenship prior to welding just blows me away! Do you have any plans to restore the sword?

lisa
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  #18  
Old 03-14-2007, 04:44 AM
spitfire spitfire is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Thanks a lot GlennT, it gives an idea of what the sword might have looked.
(It is true that the French to English translations in this book are questionable... "Le Fer", especially with a F capital, would more, as already said, be translated as "The Iron", and "Le Provocateur" probably more as "The challenger", in a very warrior/duel spirit...)

Funny that this one also misses the same part

Yes, I have found a local artist able to cast a replacement blade but I would like to stay as close as possible to the original size and shape...

If ever someone finds a picture of the complete sculpture or any idea on the 2 other members of the serie I would be very interested.
Thanks
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  #19  
Old 03-14-2007, 09:01 AM
spitfire spitfire is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Another picture showing the hand from below...
The screw is quite short but might have been also broken... Or was the blade just inserted in the hand...
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:57 AM
realnoir realnoir is offline
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Re: Picault Sculpture

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiggy56 View Post
Hi! I am new to this site and this is my first thread.
We have been given a sculpture that is approx 13-14" tall, looks
like bronze, has E PICAULT enscribed in the base and on the
front its title is "Le fer". Can anyone tell me anything about this
figure? I can try to put a picture of it here, if anyone would like
to see it for more information. Thanx!
Hey Chiggy,

Got the same sculpture from my grandma.
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Last edited by realnoir : 04-12-2011 at 08:05 AM. Reason: one photo added
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