Art Nouveau French Gilt Bronze ivy covered stump inkstand, marked ‘C.H. Louchet’ c.1905
French Art Nouveau gilt bronze inkwell, shaped as an ivy covered stump, the top hinged to reveal the glass ink reservoir.
Signed ‘C.H. Louchet’.
There’s a confusing number of website and auction room attributions to a ‘Charles Louchet’ for this mark, ‘ C H Louchet ‘ – such as ‘Charles Louchet (1854-1936) was a Paris sculptor……’ – but there is no record of a Charles Louchet. Instead, the mark should be interpreted as an artist, and a foundry, confusingly mixed together.
First, the name ‘Louchet’ refers to Paul Louchet, himself a well-respected sculptor of the period, who also ran a foundry. For this foundry, a Czech artist by the name of Karl Korschmann produced stylish Art Nouveau pieces – such as this inkwell – changing his name to ‘Charles Korschann’ . His works are signed ‘CH Korschann’ , sometimes adding ‘ Louchet’ to indicate the foundry where his works were produced, and ‘Paris’ just to be sure his works were regarded as French.
It seems these smaller pieces bear an abbreviated mark – ‘CH’ for Charles – and the Foundry’s name. Perhaps politics had something to do with it – Korshmann had dropped the ‘M’ from his name to sound less ‘German’ at a time when France was not on good terms with Germany, and he was trying to make an impact on the Paris art world. Perhaps Paul Louchet made the decision to abbreviate these marks to the initials ‘CH’ and his foundry name to make them more acceptable to the buying public?
It’s certainly caused a lot of confusion since!