Jean Baptiste Émile Dropsy was born on the 21st May 1848, the son of famed French marble sculptor: Jean Baptise Dropsy, and his wife: Elizabeth Cornevin.
Preferring to go by his middle name, Émile, which is noted in his artworks, Dropsy inherited his ancestors’ talent for sculpture but wanted to break away from the family trade into metal work. This saw him seek an apprentice in Paris with Lemoine, a renowned metal engraver and sculptor. Over his career Dropsy honed his talent, focusing on nature and religion in his finely sculpted medallions.
Here we have a fine example of his medals depicting a fine woman turning her head towards a however bird, her neck draped in diamonds. The quality of workmanship and Art Nouveau influence means this is likely one of Émile’s latter works as he sadly died in 1923; with the Art Nouveau movement spanning between 1895-1914, arching over the end of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and into World War I.