Large and impressive pair of antique sculptural jardinières by Barbedienne

By Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892)


Depicting the famous story of Bacchus and Ariadne, the jardinières are crafted from gilt and patinated bronze showcasing the beautiful contrasts of textures and colours.


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This superb pair of jardinières was crafted in late 19th century France by Barbedienne, one of the most renowned bronze foundries of the Belle Epoque period. Its very impressive design is executed from gilt and patinated bronze.

The main body of the jardinières is cast from patinated bronze and depicts the story of Ariadne and Bacchus from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Bacchus, the god of wine, is shown seated in a chariot surrounded by various figures such as putti, some playing musical instruments. One putto is flying over Ariadne who lounges beside Bacchus and places a crown above her head. This act is very important within the story as it symbolises the love between the Roman god and the Cretan princess. As a wedding gift, Bacchus offered Ariadne the sky, immortalising her as the constellation Corona Borealis. In front and behind the chariot is a procession that continues around the circumference of each jardinière.

The top of the jardinières is mounted with ornate gilt bronze mounts. A prominent acanthus leaf detailing that extends outwards features on two opposing places of the mount. In between are oval handles also surrounded by acanthus leaf detailing in addition to grape vines.

The jardinières stand on lavishly cast gilt bronze supports. A frieze with the Greek key pattern is mounted on two sides with satyrs from which extend scrolling acanthus leaves and grape vines. In between are two further mounts which support the draped foliate garland decorating the circumference of each piece. Four C-scroll feet with beading detailing terminate on X-shaped plinths. These are cast with refined ornamentation such as the bead and reel motif.

One jardinière bears the ‘BARBEDIENNE’ mark on the gilt bronze base.

Of a rich design and depicting a very famous story from Roman mythology, this pair of antique jardinières would be an outstanding addition to both indoor and outdoor settings.


Artist / Maker
By Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Belle Époque, Mythological
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Patinated Bronze
Brown, Gold


84 cm / 33.1 inches
57 cm / 22.4 inches
51 cm / 20.1 inches


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