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Mid-19th Century French Terracotta Comical Animalier Group of Two Monkeys



The interesting and amusing mid-19th century French terracotta comical animalier group of two monkeys, one seated on a chaise in a pharaoh’s type headdress holding the severed tail of the other figure much to his dismay, on a rounded rectangular base, being incise marked ‘Pppignouff !!’ (pignouff being the popular expression for a boorish or rude person), and signed indistinctly to the right side 'J.D.Molds’ (?), the whole surviving from 2nd Empire France, circa 1860-1870. The piece has a hairline crack to the base running up to the top as photographed, though this aside it does not have any losses or restoration. The Animaliers, a group of sculptors from the 19th century, focused on capturing the animal objectively. Leaders of this school include Antoine-Louis Barye, Pierre Jules Mene and the Bonheurs. The movement predominantly centered on Paris, France, and Italy, with some offshoots in England, Germany, and North America. The Paris salon thought animal subjects too common for Fine Art, but with the opening of the new Paris Jardin des Plantes zoo and the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, interest in animal art increased. Most of the original animalier sculptors used the traditional lost wax process of casting prevalent at the time. Rarely do you see humor used in this type of sculpture; a unique and highly amusing piece that is most certainly worth further research.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 5.25 in. (13.34 cm)Width: 6 in. (15.24 cm)Depth: 3.75 in. (9.53 cm)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1870
  • Condition
    Minor structural damages.
  • Seller Location
    Bedford, GB
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 21881stDibs: LU1944319407092

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Bedford, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Bedford, United Kingdom
Vetted Seller
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Established in 2009
1stDibs seller since 2016
73 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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