Antique 19th century French bronze figural wax seal desk stamp by the sculptor Jules Isidore LAFRANCE (1841-1881). A superb casted bust in silver gilded bronze statue depicting Saint Jean Baptist (St. John the Baptist). Signed J. Lafrance Prix de Rome and bearing with the brand of the founder Susse Frères Paris. Jules-Isidore Lafrance won the Prix de Rome in 1870. The Prix de Rome, or also called the Grand Prix de Rome, was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were awarded a bursary that allowed them to stay in Rome for three to five years at the expense of the state. The base bearing a matrix of interlaced initials CG or GC. Stands 3 3/8" height, the matrix measures 15/16" x 13/16". In overall good antique condition with general wear commensurate with age and use.
JULES ISIDOR LAFRANCE (1841-1881) was born in Paris. A graduate of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts , he was a student of Francisque Duret , Jules Cavelier and Auguste Maillard. Lafrance made his debut at the Salon de la Société des artistes français in 1860. He won the first grand prix de Rome in 1870 and stayed at the Villa Medici between 1871 and 1874. On his return to France, he won the gold medal of the Salon in 1874, before obtaining the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle (1878) in Paris. He was named chevalier of the Legion of Honour on 20 October 1878. Part of his works were published by the Susse Frères