Born in Saint-Martin de Fresnay (Calvados) in 1810, dead in Paris in 1892, Barbedienne created and directed one of the most important art foundry of the 19th century. First of all apprentice saddler, then apprentice paper manufacturer, Ferdinand Barbedienne set up himself in a wallpaper house that became one of the famous in Paris.
In 1838, he created his workshops with a hundred of people. He entered into partnership with the machinist and inventor Achille Collas, creator of a machine that permits to reduce the size of statues, busts, vases, ornaments or bas relief.
The catalogues of the Barbedienne House, very well illustrated, describe a diversified production. First, art bronzes reproducing antic statues, reduced, becoming nice ornaments for apartments.
Also, vases, cups and craters ( antic vase, cup-shaped, with two handles). This kind of recipient was used to mix water and wine, copying Antic works or others periods).
The ornamental sculptor was an other field, but still rich. We could find clocks of different styles ornate with bronze, gilded-bronze, silvered, enameled, marble, marble mosaics; lighting appliance : chandeliers, candelabra, torchlights, candlesticks, standard lamps, lanterns (made of bronze, gilded-bronze, silvered, enameled and ornate of Baccarat crystals); fire screens and firedogs for fireplaces; inkstands in bronze, marble, crystal, onyx; varied objects such as fonts, powder-boxes, caskets, mirrors, paperweights.
Barbedienne exhibited at varied Universals and industrials Expositions.