Liberty Enlightening the World by Bartholdi, Nine Feet Tall

  • This limited-edition bronze represents the maquette from which the Statue of Liberty was built
  • Crafted by Bartholdi in 1878, the nine-foot plaster maquette is in the Musée des Arts et Métiers
  • One of just twelve ever cast, this bronze is an exact replica of Bartholdi's original plaster
  • It is an exceptional representation of the most iconic and well-known sculpture in the world
  • Get complete item description here
Price Upon Request Item No. 31-3768

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Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi
1834-1904 | French

La Liberté Éclairant le Monde
(Liberty Enlightening the World)

Signed, dated and numbered “A. Bartholdi 1878 8/8” (lower right); Inscribed “Edition du modèle du Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers”; Inscribed “Susse Fondeur Paris” (left)
Bronze with dark green patina, flame gilded with gold leaf

The Statue of Liberty is not only the symbol of a country but also the most iconic and well-known sculpture in the entire world. This awe-inspiring nine-foot-tall Lady Liberty is the final maquette from which this famed landmark was built, and it has an extraordinary story. 

One of just twelve ever cast, this bronze is the result of a collaboration between a visionary French art dealer and the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. The dealer approached the museum with the idea to create a limited-edition bronze of their plaster model of Liberty Enlightening the World. Hand-crafted by the artist Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi in 1878, this original plaster was donated to the museum by his widow in 1905, and it is undoubtedly the masterpiece of the museum’s extraordinary collection. 

There were a handful of earlier plasters and terracotta attempts of Liberty Enlightening the World that were crafted by Bartholdi; he had sculpted a few smaller versions in an effort to perfect the model. However, the Musée des Arts et Métiers’ plaster was his final step — the flawless maquette — that served as the basis for its much larger sister sculpture in the United States.

The creation of this bronze from the plaster was not a simple task. A mold had to be made from the plaster, but the museum would not allow it to be touched in order to maintain its pristine condition. It took a number of years to find the appropriate technology to replicate the plaster without touching it. A solution presented itself in the form of a new digital method of three-dimensional metrology that could make an exact copy from inches away. Precise to within 50 microns – an incredible 0.0019685 of an inch – the digital image of the work is not only a perfect replica of the plaster model, it is even more precise than making a mold directly from the plaster.

The bronze mold was then crafted using this technology and brought to the famed Fonderie Susse to cast. Twelve sculptures were created, and we are fortunate enough to have acquired one of these exceptionally rare, once-in-a-lifetime bronzes. 

Conceived in 1878; cast in 2010

Accompanied by certification letter from the Musée des Arts et Métiers

45” wide x 31” deep x 112” high
Liberty Enlightening the World by Bartholdi, Nine Feet Tall
Maker: Bartholdi, Frédéric-Auguste
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: France
Type: Sculpture
Depth: 29.13 Inches
Width: 39.0 Inches
Height: 112.75 Inches

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