Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.09
Object Name Bust
Title Miniature Bust of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Compte de Buffon
Artist Unknown
Date 19th c.
Description Miniature bust of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon. The bust is cast in bronze in two pieces. "BUFFON" is stamped in block letters on the side of the circular base. There are no identifying maker’s marks. This object is similar to another miniature bust in the APS collection (01.C.58) marked "CUVIER".
Label Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, was elected to the French Académie Royale des Sciences in 1734, and was appointed director of the King's Garden (Jardin du Roi) in Paris in 1740. He is best known for his "Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière" (1749–1804), the first modern attempt to systematically and objectively present all existing knowledge in the fields of natural history, geology, and anthropology in a single publication without reference to religion. The purpose of this small bust remains unclear. It may have been manufactured as a souvenir object, and may also have been created as an accessory for a larger piece, perhaps a desk or a cabinet. Finial busts of renowned literary figures can be traced back to Renaissance Florence, where small metal or marble busts of famous men were used to decorate luxury cabinets.
Material Bronze
Dimensions H-3.5 W-1.25 D-1.25 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society
Search Terms 19th century
nineteenth century