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Great House Antiques
Great House Antiques, Appraiser/ Researcher/ Entrepreneur
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2191
Experience:  30+ years in all aspects of the Antiques and Decorative Arts Industry
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I have two small bronze busts about 6" tall on identical

Customer Question

I have two small bronze busts about 6" tall on identical turned marble bases - Louis I of Holland and Queen Hortense, signed "JB Beauvais" with a founder mark of "ESPIE" and "PARIS" with central image of crossed hammers in a circle, each with incused "7" to the side. Question is - is this "Jacques Beavais" or "Jean-Francois Beauvais"? And which foundry is "ESPIE"? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For what it is worth, I was a member of the Association of Online Appraisers a few years back <g>
Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

My name is ***** ***** I would love to help.
Please use the Add Files feature on your screen to add pictures of the item and any marks, labels or writing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

This was of statues, thank you. Please also send one of the marks that you have described. Impressed marks photograph best when lit strongly from one side and not the other. This helps the mark to be more easily read. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did the ESPIE PARIS image arrive? I can fiddle with sharpness/grayscale if that would help. Dave
Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

If you used the Add Files feature, there are none here.
If you email, you must email pictures to***@******.***

and put 'for rarewares in antiques' in the subject line and be sure to

use the same email that you used when you signed up for your account so they will recognize your account.
These do not arrive instantly, so thanks in advance for some patience when sending this way.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will send via email - merci. Also trying this one more time - name is IMG_1229.jpgDave Cunningham
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I identified Queen Hortense by hair/face and by exaggerated caliche from circa 1800, and Louis from face and the unusual bicorne hat with ribbon at side of hate, etc. I admit it took more than four hours for me to be certain of the identification, but then I was faced with Bonhams ( which created an artist "Jacques B. Beauvais" and placed the art at late 19th century. As "France" is not present on either piece, it pretty much has to be before 1893, and the caleche is distinctive (not to mention Hortense's highly unusual hair style). The matched number "7" strongly implies it is a proper bronze - with a practical limit of about a dozen sets. My own opinion was that it was circa 1810 to possibly 1830, unless someone really thought there was a market for the pair later. Thank you - I apologize for finding what I found to be a challenging piece.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 1 year ago.

I am going to opt-out as I am not familiar with this foundry mark. The next expert will see your photos and our conversation.

Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 1 year ago.

Here's a copy of one.

However, I think I need more. Can you provide a clear close-up of the signature, and a clear close-up of the Espie mark? The one you sent is quite blurry.


Customer: replied 1 year ago. etc. show that the caliche hat is not at all "Art Nouveau" for sure - the structure of the hat is close to 1790 to 1800 France, as the bicorne on the man also indicates. The Spanish description clearly missed the fact that the subject is identifiable in the context of the companion figure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Strong signature image, and I apologize for misspelling caleche which my spellchecker "corrects" - Dave
Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 1 year ago.

Of course, but keep in mind that clothing does not date a piece--it only means that the piece was made AFTER that date. This is certainly late 19th to early 20th century.

I'll review further.


Expert:  AppraiserJM replied 1 year ago.

That's not a caleche hat on the sculpture. A caleche would come directly forward over the head and would be somewhat flat across the top, it would not go upward like that. (I studied costume history in college, before becoming a certified appraiser.) The style of millinery in this hat is early 20th century. I'd date this to around 1910, in terms of the woman's clothing, although the sculpture could be later.

I understand the tricorn hat is not typical of the period, but these possibly were not intended as a pair, but were simply two decorative pieces by the same artist.

But the foundry mark is not found anywhere else, which is quite suspicious. I suspect these may be fairly contemporary reproductions. Especially given the great mis-match in time periods between the two items.

I'll opt out and let another appraiser weigh in, however.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The "tricorne" is a bicorne with ribbon and ornaments, and the caleche images I find from the 1790 - 1810 period certainly fit the clear portrait image of Queen Hortense of Holland (as near as anyone can tell - except we also have King Louis of Holland, who is quite different in appearance from his brother, in the matched/numbered pair)<g>. The bonnet indeed comes across the head and is somewhat flat on top, and shows distinct ribbing to the crown of the hat. Just as required in the 1810 era. Could it be a new cast from 1900? As for 20th century millinery, I find nothing in my few reference books to show anything close (or cloche) to this large bonnet. I would suspect the need for this pair would not be huge in that period, alas.
Customer: replied 1 year ago. online only has volume 1, alas. Might someone look at the "E" volume of that 1886 work? I doubt that Espié was a fraudulent fondeur, alas. The mounting has a good deal of age with a square piece of metal clamping the post. Merci beauoup.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Appending - the bonnet seems to not be as collapsible as it ought unless the sculptor simplified the image (paintings do not always make the cross ribs clear at that period) - thus is a modified hood which also seems datable as a style to the 1810 period - I only see what appear to be two sections to collapse, though an sculptor seeing one fully extended would not necessarily have noted the ribs across, but the fine ribs or pleats from back to front appear distinct to me - Dave