Standing over 2 feet tall, these high quality bronze statues depict soldiers during the French Revolutionary Wars. They are labeled and signed Dumaige (French sculptor, Etienne-Henry Dumaige 1830-1888). The statues show incredible detail, excellent proportion, and retain their original, rich, brown patina, which is still in remarkable condition. Each solider has a raised brass placard on the front of the 1 ½” thick square bases: one reads Avant le combat volontaire de 1792 par Dumaige, H.C, while the other is titled “Apres le combat grenadier de 1792 par Dumaige, H.C.”. The designation “H.C.” stands for Hors concours (“standout”), which is used for artwork that is excluded from competition because it has already claimed top honors elsewhere.
Avant, meaning “before” shows our soldier as a volunteer drummer. Drums were used on the battlefield not only to provide cadence for the soldiers, but also to issue orders based on the percussion pattern. Here, our soldier’s drum is attached to a harness that runs across his right shoulder. Both hands are gripping the frame of the drum, while there is a drumstick in his left hand. There is a satchel on the soldier’s back as he stands on grass with a small wood fence behind him.
Our soldier has a mustache with long braided hair in the back. He is wearing a fluted bicorne with a pomme tuft and has earrings in both ears. His jacket is knee-length in the back, with tasseled epaulets on the shoulders. Apres, meaning “after”, depicts the man as a grenadier, enjoying tobacco after a conflict. The grenadier’s musket with attached bayonet is resting inside the crook of his right arm as he lights his pipe. His main satchel is on the ground between his boots, with a second bag riding low on his back, near his waist and flanked by a sheathed sword on his left hip and a dagger on the right.
Born in Paris in 1830, Dumaige was mainly known for his lifelike sculptures, particularly figurative groupings. Dumaige often used bronze in his statues and busts, but had also been known to work with plaster and stone, such as marble. Between 1862 and 1877, Dumaige exhibited at both the Paris Salon and the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with light buildup and rubs. The statues have a lovely luster patina. Please see photos for details.