In a few cases the bases are an integral part of the whole. This is the case for Le Faguays’ “Signal Man”, in which the base forms the top of a rampart from which the archer is taking aim, and in Jaquemin’s “The Skier”, in which the base is the athlete’s jumping board. Plaster, terracotta, wood, enamel, and zinc were also used. The hill of Montmartre in the north of Paris, where the Sacred Heart Church stands, is the highest point in the city. It is also a mountain of plaster. By 1860 the city forbade the exploitation of the mineral for fear that the whole hill might disappear. For years to come it still provided three quarters of all the plaster consumed in Paris.
Plaster model for mould and assembly of bronze and ivory
Plaster has the malleability the artist needs to express his intentions. It was used to make the moulds for the figures, including their bronze, ivory and marble portions. Terracotta is a kind of clay that fires at low temperatures (1000-1120 degrees Centigrade) – this is what potters call “bisque firing”. It produces a light brown surface. The higher the firing temperature, the greater the shrinkage, the stronger the clay body, and the darker the colour of the end product. Terracotta sometimes is glazed for a particular effect. While wood is rarely used in the manufacture of statuettes, it is sometimes added for colour and texture, often for skin tones in particular; it occasionally forms part of the base. Enamel is a vitrified coating, available in many colours and shades, which can either be cold painted or applied to the bronze and then fired for special effects. White enamel could never replace ivory, however, since its effect when applied to bronze is not as pleasing as that of other colours. Hence limbs and faces are made of either bronze or ivory, or occasionally marble. The zinc metal alloy known as spelter in English (“régule” in French) was sometimes used for decorative sculptures. While it was less expensive, more malleable, and lighter than bronze, it does not have that material’s nobility.
The Commercial Venues
Edmond Etling was the proprietor of the Galerie Béranger located on 158, rue de Temple in Paris. It specialized in a wide selection of items for home decoration, ranging from furniture, porcelain and glass to various types of lighting: candles, gas and electricity. The Etling Company manufactured and sold many sculptures by such artists as Chiparus, Colinet, Guiraud Rivière, Bouraine and Fanny Rozet.
The founder-merchants that created and sold sculptures in France were known as “éditeurs”. They produced sculptures and glass, porcelain and ceramic pieces, selling them through their own retail galleries.
Etling was awarded a gold medal and a diplome d’honneur in Brussels in 1910; the firm was a member of the jury in Frankfurt in 1910; they won the grand prix in Turin in 1911 and received a diplome d’honneur and a grand prix in Paris in 1913.
They also offered dinner services, prints, wrought iron goods and lamps. They had commercial representatives throughout France and in several other cities in Europe, North Africa and South America.
At the Paris exhibition of 1925 Etling exhibited in the French Section of the Grand Palais, Hall B, Stand 40.
Advertisement for the use of zinc in areas of decoration.
Galerie Béranger – Edmond Etling
At the 1937 exhibition the firm showed a salon with lamps by Bonnet, Corchet, Dunaime, Gaillard, Laplanche, and Mielot. They also exhibited sculptures by Guiraud Rivière, Kelety (Bust of a Youth with Hat and Vines) and Bouraine (Bust of a Young Girl).
Galerie Béranger in Paris. Edmond Etling proprietor. A vast array of decorations were offered for the home.