|1925/30 Patanated bronze mascot of Princess Néginga, signed Mazzel with the Cire A. VALSUANI foundry stamp, 150mm tall. These mascots were attributed to the Croisiére Noire expedition and are also found in silvered bronze. After successfully crossing the Sahara Desert with a motorized expedition in 1922, car manufacturer André Citroen decided to launch another such expedition across the African continent between 1924 and July 1925. This difficult Croisière Noire expedition was lead by George Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil and captivated the French publics imagination and was a major publicity coup for the French Citroen car company. |
The Valsuani foundry was started by the brothers Claude and Attilio Valsuani who learned the foundry trade while employed at the Hebard
foundry. While working for Hebard, Claude Valsuani worked his way up to become the Technical Director of the Hebard foundry. In 1899 Claude Valsuani started his own foundry in Chatillon, casting mostly small works for various artists primarily using the lost wax technique of casting (cire perdue). In 1905 he moved his foundry to 74 Rue des Plantes in Paris. Among the better known sculptors who had the Valsuani foundry cast their works were: Renoir, Picasso Despiau, Paul Troubetzkoy, Matisse, and Gaugin. Claude Valsuani died in 1923 but his son, Marcel took over the running of the foundry and continued to produce extremely fine detailed bronzes until the 1970s.