Magnificent French 19th C Zinc Fountain with Provenance
This magnificent 19th century zinc fountain was purchased from the NY estate of Helen Finch Foulds, heir to the Finch Pruyn Lumber Company in Glens Falls, NY, and best known for her $4.5 Million bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 1950s. It depicts a winged putto holding a fish aloft and out of the reach of a child triton, on a lily leaf-covered base and is in original, unpainted surface. An allegory of Love, this fountain was inspired by pieces commissioned by Louis XIV who built Versailles, and is signed indistinctly on its base. Such exceptional works of art were always sculpted first by a well-known and respected artist prior to casting, and we believe this is likely the work of Joseph Louie August Claudin (French, 1837-1913), an Alsatian sculptor. It is in excellent condition overall, with a small piece missing from the base (likely where it was plumbed) and two small seam separations that do not affect either the look or functionality of the fountain. Zinc fountains of this period were cast in multiple pieces from the original sculpture and then assembled and seamed together by hand. It would make a stunning centerpiece in a formal garden, slightly elevated in a round pool and surrounded by a parterre of boxwood. Alternatively, leave it unplumbed and enjoy it as the gorgeous piece of sculpture it is.
France, CA 1880.
H: 31.5 in Outer Diameter 30.5 in Inner Diameter 24.5 in
Ref: MY 1001