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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 4810
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have a small bronze signed Belin. It has the Fabrication

Customer Question

I have a small bronze signed Belin. It has the Fabrication Francais Paris/Made in France foundry mark. It's of a girl holding up a bouquet of flowers and carrying a basket of flowers in her other hand. I have 3 questions. 1. Any idea of the age? Is it the 1920s/30s as you mentioned in response to the post on Auguste Moreau statues? Also, its screwed to a base that has an ornamental metal tag nailed into the side that says CUEILLETTE Par Rancoulet. Do you think this was original or married to the statue? The artist names don't match and the statue doesn't sit centered on the pedestal. And finally, she's got a screw on her back between her shoulder blades. What on earth was that for?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your bronze.Thanks for the excellent description, it does sound like it's a marriage with another base, and the screw in her back more than likely means she was a table lamp at one time and this secured her to the metal standard of the lamp.Could you very kindly attach photos and let me know the height of the piece.Many thanks and wait to hear,Robert PS Here's a really easy way to attach additional photos.Just three clicks and a copy and paste and you are done:Go to http://www.imgur.com/(no need to 'log in' or 'register' it makes it too complicated)Click on "Upload Images"Click on "Browse Your Computer"Select the pictures you want to send me from the box that pops up.Hit "open".Click on "Start Upload" (and wait few seconds pictures to load)And then copy the link they give you. It will look similar to this http://www.imgur.com/xxxx and it's located right under where it says Image Linkand paste it here where you are typing to me.(If you have uploaded multiple photos on one Imgur.com link, copy the URL in the browser bar at the top of your screen, otherwise I get just one photo).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
http://imgur.com/3PNgnQF
http://imgur.com/onaQRoE
http://imgur.com/KzD8UaI
http://imgur.com/UacXeQk
http://imgur.com/ijiTE7s
http://imgur.com/K7Zs2MNThe whole thing is 16.5 inches, but it's probably more useful to know the bronze part is slightly more than 14 inches. Anything you can tell me about the artist, history of these statues and/or value would be helpful.Thank you,Alysia
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alysia,Many thanks for the follow up information and the excellent photos.I can see exactly what you have now.I'll have a full answer and a value for you as soon as I can.Best wishes,Roberthttp://imgur.com/3PNgnQF,onaQRoE,KzD8UaI,UacXeQk,ijiTE7s,K7Zs2MN#5
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alysia,
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, life intervened. However now that I'm here I'll give you my full and prompt attention.
You are right, this looks like a marriage. The pedestal has one name (Rancoulet) and the metal of the statue base has another (Belin). This is certainly odd and I'm not quite sure what the explanation is. But I don't think it's a post-production marriage as there are other examples of this double naming out there. Here's your figure on a clock that shows the same thing, "Rancoulet" on the nameplate and "Belin" on the socle.
http://tinyurl.com/lygolfc
And yet here she is again on a slightly different socle:
http://imgur.com/wH2EnD7
With "Rancoulet" impressed on the back of the socle.
http://imgur.com/jBrHpzs
Certainly, artistically this "Cueillette" (French for "wild food gatherer") figurine looks more like the work of Ernest Rancoulet, (French, active from 1870 - 1915) who was well known for these Art Nouveau poses.
Joseph Francois A. Belin (? - 1902) was active a generation earlier and his work is more in the classical French style.
The foundry "Fabrication Francaise" was active during the first quarter of the 20th century -which is when this piece dates to, circa 1920s- and they specialized in casting spelter, which is what your piece is made of. It's a low melting point zinc alloy popular for casting which can then be patinated (anodized) with various coatings to make it look like bronze or other metal.
"Fabrication Francaise" were well known for mass producing great quantities of spelter castings for clocks, garnitures, lamps and general statuary. Your example almost certainly embellished a table lamp originally, hence the screw at the back.
She is nevertheless a highly decorative piece and her mixed origins and attributions would not faze a collector who would still appreciate her for what she is, and she would sell at auction for at least $300 - $500.
She therefore has a full retail or replacement value of $900 for insurance purposes.
I do hope this helps!
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance with this, I would be glad to.
Best wishes,
Robert