Paul-Édouard Delabrièrre was a French animalier sculptor who worked in the mid-to-late 19th century and the early 20th century. He had 70 of his sculptures juried into the prestigious Salon art exhibition held annually in Paris. His monumental work called L'Equitation adorns the facade of the Louvre.
I love these! Whimsical and wonderful antique Palais Royal Grand Tour souvenir that's sure to tickle your fancy, and a great conversation piece for your home and use. This larger sized mule or donkey figure with gilt harness & ormolu pannier or pack saddle filled with two liqueur barrels and ten service cups or cordials is just the thing to bring out with an aperitif at your next dinner party, n'est pas? Charming as can be, one spigot works smoothly, clean enough to actually use the barrel, which holds about a pint of liqueur but the handle on the other spigot has been broken off. The base is not weighted but expansive enough to stand steadily, and is 9" x 4". The set is 13.5" tall overall with the handle, and the white metal mule figure alone is roughly 11.5” long from head to tail, so it's a great set for the table or desktop. There is no damage or loss to the figure, his base or wonderful gilded harness AND this one has truly spectacular detail throughout. I've included several closeups so you can see, a sculpture to rival many antique bronzes for sure. We've had a few sets similar to this one over the years, figures ranging from the ever popular horse with carriage, mule or donkey, Blackamoors & camels (we’ve listed fine examples of the two latter figures today so be sure to take a peek at them while you’re with us! Fabulous decorative accents! If you have those little animal carriage open salts, you're going to HAVE to have this to go along! Likely from the 1800s prestigious shops of the famed Palais Royal in Paris, formerly the palace of Cardinal Richelieu, and a grand promenade & shopping place of the wealthy and 'substantial' among Grand Tour visitors as well as Grand Parisians. Delightful and RARE, don't miss it!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The saddle/harness and bronze wire framework may be very slightly bent here and there, possibly a tiny rim chip or two on the cups but the stopper is intact and, as noted, one barrel spigot is fully intact. The cups' enamel decoration might not be an exact match on all, sometimes these are replacements. No damage to the figure or base. See pictures for all measurements.
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