A RARE FRENCH COLONIAL SCULPTURE OF A COUPLE FROM THE FRENCH WEST INDIES, DRINKING RUM AND CHOCOLATE by Unknown Artist
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Unknown Artist

A RARE FRENCH COLONIAL SCULPTURE OF A COUPLE FROM THE FRENCH WEST INDIES, DRINKING RUM AND CHOCOLATE 18th century

Wood
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Zebregs & Röell - Fine Art - Antiques

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About the artwork

A RARE FRENCH COLONIAL SCULPTURE OF A COUPLE FROM THE FRENCH WEST INDIES, DRINKING RUM AND CHOCOLATE

The French Antilles or French Guyana, late 18th/early 19th century

The painted plaster figures with wood, glass and gilt braid, seated at a table, happily drinking and conversating, on a rectangular black base with four bun feet.

H. 20 x W. 27 x D. 18 cm

Provenance:

Joseph-Armand Coudre la Coudrais (1751-before 1809) and thence by descent.
Joseph-Armand came from a family of sailors and was captain of the Phénix and the L’aimable Rose, importing rum and cacao from the French West Indies.

So possibly Joseph-Armand himself commissioned this sculpture of the rum and cacao drinking couple in the French West Indies. His portrait is in the Musée de la Marine in Honfleur.


Note:

This sculpture makes one think of the diorama’s made by Gerrit Schouten in Dutch Guyana/Surinam. Schouten’s clients were Europeans who visited Surinam for a shorter or longer period. Gerrit Schouten, who’s mother was a mulatto and father a Dutchman, depicted the African slaves in Surinam almost exclusively while performing a slavedance, a du (see for an example Uit Verre Streken, June 2008,item 8). Once or twice a year the slaves on the plantations were allowed to make music, dance and dress-up for two or three days. These du’s, which ofcourse presented a very limited but colourful picture of “happy” slave-life in Surinam, were very popular among tourists who afterwards ordered a diorama of a slave dance from Gerrit Schouten.

In the background, a detail of a chromolithograph titled Baumwolle (cotton) from the series Ausländische Kulturpflanzen by Goering & Schmidt, printed and edited by F.E. Wac