The Fun Archaeology



Fonderie Susse

Tracing its origins to 1758, the Paris foundry of Susse Frères is one of the oldest art foundries in Europe. It is most well known to collectors for their production of fine art bronze sculptures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their catalogue represented the work of the most important French sculptors of the nineteenth century including: James Pradier, Pierre-Jules Mêne , Auguste Cain , Pierre-Nicolas Turgenev , Yevgeny Alexandrovich Lanceray, Louis-Ernest Barrias , Jules Dalou , Alexandre Falguière and Mathurin Moreau. Renowned for the quality of its casting and multipatinated finishes, the firm of Susse Frères has since cast some bronzes for Artists such as Constantin Brâncusi, Antoine Bourdelle, Fernando Botero, Antoine Bourdelle, Diego Giacometti, Aristide Maillol or Max Ernst. The two brothers had also a strong relationship with photography history. On the 19th of August 1839, François Arago publicly unveiled the previously secret details of the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced photographic process. Two months earlier, on the 22nd of June 1839, its inventor Louis Daguerre had signed contracts with two manufacturers, Alphonse Giroux and Maison Susse Frères, Place de la Bourse 31, Paris, to produce the first commercially available photographic cameras. The two companies were granted exclusive rights to make and sell the special camera obscura designed by Daguerre, as well as the several lesser items of equipment needed to work the process.

Antoine Bourdelle

Fonderie Susse, Paris. A sketch assembly foundry document for the casting of « The Meditation of Apollo and the Nine Muses » bas-relief by Antoine Emile Bourdelle. Drawing in ink on paper and mounted on a wood board. 29 x 53 cm. This drawing was realized at the time of the foundry was asked to produce a bronze version of the « The Meditation of Apollo and the Nine Muses » The drawing was made by a craftsman of the foundry, it is a work in progress document showing how the monumental bronze bas relief has been produced. The sculpture has been divided into 10 pieces (each pieces show measurement and weight) The final work is presented as facade of the museum Bourdelle in Paris.

Susse Photographie

50 tags coming from the Susse Foundry building after it was destroyed (located 5-7 avenue Jeanne-d'Arc in Arceuil, south east of Paris)Those tags (approximatively 10 x 5 cm) were initially attached to the plaster molds and used to identified them in the Susse Archive. Each of them displays a vintage print and some informations like the name of the artist, title of the piece of art and dimensions.3 volume plate (copper photogravure plate) representing «  le Cheval, Torse d’Homme, Cheval » by french Artist Raymond Duchamp-Villon, each 17 x 12,5 cm.6 vintage photographs showing the interior of the Susse Foundry circa 1950, each 18,5 x 13 cm.