Pair of white bisque angels, Dihl à Paris

French Empire period


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Splendid pair of white bisque figures “Cupid testing an arrow” and “Cupid drawing an arrow” on rectangular porcelain bases. Great finesse of the bisques. The bases are decorated with a garland of palmettes and styled flowers in gold on a mat green ground. Signed “Dihl” on the back and marked in red under the base “Manufacture de Dihl et Guérhard à Paris”.

This pair of angels recalls the high-quality biscuit figures produced by Dihl for the powerful of this world: a pair of gilded bisque angels on bases (part of the service “aux Tableaux” of Empress Josephine around 1811), in the collections of the Hermitage Museum. A version with the angels in black is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Last but not least, the unmistakable pair “Enfant lisant et Enfant dessinant” (reading and drawing children, a version is in the Musée de Sèvres) which appears on the famous portrait of Mr Dihl by Etienne Le Guay.

Dim: H: 30cm – W: 20 cm – D: 12,5 cm

Manufacture of Dihl and Guérhard, Empire period.

Liter: In 1781, Christophe Dihl and Mr and Ms Antoine Guérhard create, under the patronage of the Duke of Angoulême, only 6 years old, a hard paste porcelain factory in the street of Bondi in Paris. Dihl brought his creative genius of sculptor and a large quantity of molds, the Guérhard brought the funds. In 1785, there were already 12 sculptors and 30 painters, and especially a lot of orders. In 1787, a judgement emancipated the manufactory which, from memory, equalled the manufacture of Sèvres so no one would want to see it disappear! Ms Guérhard even sent, out of diplomacy, a worker at Sèvres to modify the new oven! In 1789, the factory moved to rue du Temple. That year, Governor Morris, representing the United States in Paris, bought porcelain for George Washington. In 1793, the factory had 500 workers. Mr Guérhard dies. In 1797, Mrs. Guérhard and Mr. Dihl get married. Raw material of quality, state of the art oven; colours, shapes, sculptures (Lemire) and paintings (Le Guay) of perfect beauty, the manufacture is a reference. The mark ” Mre de Mgr/ le duc d’Angouleme/ à Paris  ” will be used until the French Revolution. Then the names of Dihl and / or Guérhard will be used. The Imperial era will mark the peak of success. However, the manufacture will go from the triumph of the 1806 exhibition to a decline in activity from 1810. The Empress Josephine will order in 1811-1813 a prestigious service. The company dissolves in 1828 and Dihl dies in 1830.

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