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Will, Certified Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 15211
Experience:  30+ Years expertise in antiques and collectibles
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. Moreau Lamps

Resolved Question:

We attended an auction this weekend where we picked up a pair of Auguste Moreau lamps. I've done some research on line. Everything about the markings leads me to believe these are authentic, however, I have suspicions. I have taken photographs and can send them but be advised that I am not a very good photographer One lamp is on a round marble "pedistal," a figure of a man walking with a lamb draped across his shoulders. He has a garmet of some sort tied around his waiste and the ends are flowing in the wind. He has a spear in his left hand, his right foot forward, left foot back. Below his left foot is a "signature" Aug Moreau. On the front of the pedistal is a small brass tag with the words "Retour de Chasse" and below that title the words "Par A. Moreau (Med. d Or). About 60 or 70 degrees to the left of the plaque (looking from the front) is a small, round, metal disk with the words "Fabricaion Francaise" around the top and, around the bottom of the disk, the words "Maid in France." Centered just above the words Made in Frnce is the word "Paris." Centered in the disk is either a flower or a cup that is facing up. Under it could be stems or sticks. Possibly a Fleur d'lis? From the bottom of the base to the top of his head, this figure is 11.5"or 30cm tall.  The "stem"that carries the electric cord extends another 6"or 15.5cm above his head.The other lamp, also on a round marble pedistal, is a young woman she is holding a bunch of wheat in her arms and appears to be walking through or over other stalks of wheat. Her dress and hair appear to be blowing in he wind. The end of her scarf appears to be blowing in an opposite direction than her dress and hair, her left foot forward, right foot to the rear. Beneath her left foot, on the marble pedistal, is a plaque with the words "Retour del Pres" with the words Pur A. Moreau (Med. d Or) Then perhaps 50 or 60 degrees around to the right (looking from the front) is the same round metal disk with the same wording and same flower or cup as the first lamp. The signature, A. Moreau is just below the side of  her right foot.  From the bottom of the pedistal to the top of her head, she is 11.75"or 30.5cm.  The stem that carries the electric cord extends above her head about 4"or 10.5cm. So, with this description, are you able to determine is these are true Moreau creations?  Please let me know if photos were successfully uploaded.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Will replied 5 years ago.
You appear to have later spelter castings of Moreau forms, common in the 1920's--while many were cast from original molds later on--as late as the 1950's. My only concerns would be that first of all, few Moreau first generation lamps will have any screws in them, as yours does...also, the earlier spelter does not have the chalky white residue which yours seems to show...but it could be simple oxidation, though generally the plating retards the damages of time far better...hopefully this sheds some light for best guess is you have later castings that should retail in the under $600 range....Best, Will
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Yes, my lamps do, indeed have screws. They are in a brace used to hold the stem that carries the electric cord from the base to the light bulb itself. I will have to accept your opinion that it may well be a laterer casting. However, these figures do not have any residue. I believe that what you were seeing in the one photo that came through is the camera flash super-lighting the figure.
Expert:  Will replied 5 years ago.

I may wish to check the casting using a sharp piece of steel (a sewing machine needle usually works)--on the bottom, in an obscure place, try to scratch the finish...if it comes back very silvery and shiny, it is spelter from the 1930-50's era; if it comes back a more dull golden color, it is pre-1930 as a general rule. During WWII, the original Moreau French molds were hidden in order to keep them from the Germans...many were recovered after the War and ended up with an art dealer in NY who began casting forms from both brothers...most were LF Moreau pieces, but several were from A. Moreau....I have attached a link to one of the LF forms which were copied; note the patination on the original art deco pieces...Best, Will



And here is an A. Moreau original for your review...



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am going to accept your answer. However one additional piece of information has been uncovered that will possibly help pinpoint the date range of these lamps. Originally I did not see this because what appears to be flower petals has been created to partially cover the receptacle into which the light bulb is screwed into. Stamped into the receptacle is the word "RATNER' with the numbers 600W 250V directly underneath. Looking for Ratner; Ratner 600W 250V; Ratber Electrical Products; Ratner Electrical Supply did not render any results on Google. Perhaps your resources are more far reaching that what I have available to me. Thanks
Expert:  Will replied 5 years ago.
Not sure if this will help or not, but Ratner sockets were patented in 1939 and in production throught the 1970's--but it could have been replaced....but if by chance it is could push back to pre-WWII...
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank, You Will. Appreciate your help on this.
Be well.