(b Saint-Martin-de-Fresnay, Calvados, 10 Jan 1810; d Paris, 21 March 1892). French metalworker and manufacturer. After an early career as a manufacturer of wallpaper, he changed professions in 1838 and became a founder. He went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had invented a method for making reductions of sculpture. The firm, called Collas & Barbedienne, specialized in reproductions of antique and modern sculpture. By 1850 the firm was also producing a wide range of decorative objects—chandeliers, vases and furniture—in a variety of revival styles (e.g. Néo-Grec, Gothic and Louis XVI). Between 1850 and 1854 the firm, by then known as Barbedienne, provided furnishings in the Renaissance Revival style for the Hôtel de Ville, Paris. Some of Barbedienne's finest work is in enamel (e.g. gilt metal vase with champlevé enamel, c. 1862; London, V&A). The business was carried on by his nephew after his death.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.