French Terracotta Bust of Voltaire, Circa 1880
To make a bronze sculpture, artisans would have first sculpted their masterpiece in clay, which they would then be use to create a lost wax casting which they would pour molten bronze into. If the clay piece was not destroyed in the casting process, the pieces would sometimes be put out on the market. Circa 1880, this antique French terracotta bust has had a faux bronze patina added to it. As most of these “blanks” did not survive their intended use, we feel lucky to have come across this example on a buying trip in France. We find that interior designers and homeowners like these pieces as unique artwork elements on pedestals, in bookcases, or on sideboards.