Outstanding antique French solid bronze or brass figural letter opener, circa late 19th century. Featuring a finely modeled figure of a German Shepherd dog. Signed with the mark of the foundry Ch. Gautier Bronzier, for Charles Gautier (or Charles Gauthier) of 12 Cours de L'Intendance in Bordeaux. In overall good condition with general wear commensurate with age and use. Measures 11" length x 2 1/8" width.
Gauthier (1831 – 1891) was born in Chauvirey-le-Châtel. He enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris on 6 April 1854, where he studied under François Jouffroy. He won a silver medal at the 1861 Prix de Rome and was awarded medals in 1865, 1866 and 1869. He exhibited at the Salon between 1859 and 1882.