Morel-Ladeuil, Léonard (French, 1820-1888)

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Léonard Morel-Ladeuil (1820-1888) was a preeminent 19th Century French sculptor and ciseleur.

Morel-Ladeuil trained as a pupil and assistant to Antoine Vechte, from whom he learnt the art of repoussé metalwork. The craftsman’s success in France was hampered by others in the trade, who resented Morel-Ladeuil receiving commissions directly from patrons. Morel-Ladeuil finally found employment from the foreign dealer Marché and later came to the attention of the English firm Elkington & Co. in 1862. Elkington & Co. offered Morel-Ladeuil a three year contract in Birmingham, and the wares he produced in this period were to secure his international reputation. The result was Morel-Ladeuil receiving a multitude of private commissions, including the famous 'Helicon Vase' that was made for the English Royal family to mark Queen Victoria's Silver Jubilee.

Despite the initial three year contract, Morel-Ladeuil remained with Elkington for some twenty years, where he continued to produce fine works of exceptionally high quality.