an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Le génie a pour son domaine L’immortalite

photo of L&F Moreau lamp

L & F Moreau Lamp base

How’s your French for translating that?

“The domain of genius is immortality.”

This  has been a difficult assignment, though. Usually a collector’s item can be found on the internet, and all related information about artist, manufacturer, tradition, social culture, etc. can also be easily found; collectors tend to be a diligent and detail-oriented lot, and it never ceases to amaze me how much some people know about their subject. And, of course, because these items are bought and sold all the time, it behooves everyone to put it on the internet with as much information as possible.

However, I can’t find much at all about this piece or the artists, unless it’s locked in one of the foreign-language pages I can’t read very well.

The sculpture was made by two brothers, Louis Auguste and Hippolyte Francois Moreau, part of the Moreau family of sculptors from Dijon, France (yes, also famous for the mustard). Louis worked in bronze and metal sculpture while Francois was a painter and sculptor. They collaborated on many, many highly ornate and detailed decorative pieces in the Art Nouveau era, mostly lamps and clocks, and signed their pieces “L & F Moreau”.

These ladies are proclaiming the truth, I’m sure, with the long traditional court trumpet, those clingy, flowing dresses and one with a laurel wreath on her head the other wings and holding two laurel wreaths. I didn’t photograph the whole thing because I wanted to be able to see the tablet with the phrase, plus it just gets lost with everything else on the table.

Now, the phrase—I think it’s Socrates, or inspired by him, because he has a list of other “the domain of…” phrases, but here I’ve lost out again. I just can’t find the origin of this phrase.

If anyone can help me with information on either of these two points, please send it along!

You never know what will show up at your local vintage consignment shop. It’s always worth a look.

9 responses

  1. BERNARD BERGERON

    the lamp that i have stand total of 39 inch, the statue total 26 inch. The paint is in perfect condition and beautiful ( that the reason why i purchase it)
    the color are amazing. beautiful base decorate with pink flower and green leaves with the signature L F MOREAU on it. one of the lady hold two reef in her right hand, and her left hand is up showing something. the other lady hold a flambeau in her right hand, and the plaque with the inscription on her left hand. the wire and the socket seem to be original, the light work good . Some discoloration on the shade holder. i replace the shade. let me know what you thing it worth, thank you.

    September 23, 2020 at 8:47 pm

  2. Kal Bissinger

    i have the same lamp also i got at a Estate Sale i paid $ 50 …i want to know what it true worth it was in great condition ..please help let me know if you can help…thanks

    November 4, 2015 at 10:06 am

  3. Karl bissinger

    I have the same lamp I got at a estate sale and its in great condition ..I put it on ebay but im not sure what to charge for it any help ??????

    October 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm

  4. David H

    We too have the same lamp. Thank you for sharing information about its provenance. My wife inherited it from her grandmother.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm

  5. francios dubios

    Someone absolutly stole it at that price. That is an elaborate Moreau. Valued in the high 4 figures to low 5 figures in excellent condition.

    July 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm

  6. judy

    I have a lamp of this lady making the rpoclamation and blowing the trumpet. Do you by chance know the value of this ?

    John

    March 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    • Let me check with the woman who owns the consignment store. I didn’t find this lamp exactly, only a description of one that had been sold, but I never saw a price. I’ll get back to you.

      March 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    • It sold for $145, but it had originally been marked at $195. I’m not sure how they arrived at that price, and it was a consignment item so the customer may have set the price at what he wanted to get from it, but I guess he ws willing to bargain. I’m not sure anyone found the real value of it–I know I didn’t no matter where I looked. Hope that helps you!

      March 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

      • Ralph ed.

        I have a 22 inches tall/ statue like this and the lady (w/trumpet) has “wings” on her back) , but the other lady is missing her one “arm.” But it is not a “lamp” fixture on it. ( also, unpainted)

        July 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

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