A striking mid 20th Century Art Deco silver plated bronze car mascot in the form of a leaping horse, with fine detail. Raised on a wooden rectangular base, signed Bazin
Height: 18 cm
Width: 16 cm
Depth: 10 cm
Condition: Excellent Original Condition with light wear to surface
Materials: Silver Plated Bronze and Wood
François Bazin was born in Paris on 31 October 1897 and died in Paris in 1956. His parents were engravers and medalists. Early years were spent in Chile where his parents taught at the Santiago art college. The family returned to Paris in 1913 and Bazin enrolled at the Paris École des Beaux-Art. He was mobilized in 1916 and attached to a squadron whose planes were equipped with Hispano Suiza engines. After the war he completed his studies and was runner-up for the Prix de Rome in 1925.
The first "hood ornament" was a sun-crested falcon (to bring good luck) mounted on Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's chariot.
In the early years, automobiles had their radiator caps outside of the hood and on top of the grille which also served as an indicator of the temperature of the engine's coolant fluid. The Boyce MotoMeter Company was issued a patent in 1912 for a radiator cap that incorporated a thermometer that was visible to the driver with a sensor that measured the heat of the water vapor, rather than the water itself. This became a useful gauge for the driver because many early engines did not have water pumps, but a circulation system based on the "thermo-syphon" principle as in the Ford Model T.
The "exposed radiator cap became a focal point for automobile personalization."
Hood ornaments were popular in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, with many automakers fitting them to their vehicles. Moreover, a healthy business was created in the supply of accessory mascots available to anyone who wanted to add a hood ornament or car mascot to their automobile. Most companies like Desmo and Smith's are now out of business with only Louis Lejeune Ltd. in England surviving. Sculptors such as Bazin, Paillet, Sykes, Renevey, and Lejeune all created finely detailed sculptures in miniature.