September 08, 2023

André Coudert, Les rintintins du forgeron / The rintintins of the blacksmith

this image and the next four by Marie Michélle, from her weblog

Montferrand du Périgord is an authentic old village with about 170 inhabitants, located in the south of the Dordogne region in France. There is a centuries-old castle and along the main street there are striking buildings, such as the town hall and a covered market hall.

Life and works

Nearby this market hall, along the main street, André Coudert (1928-2014)  managed his village forge for thirty-three years, from 1956 to December 30,1989. He succeeded his father, Abel Coudert, who had taught him the blacksmith profession.

André Coudert was married and the couple had a daughter.

His forge worked in large part for the farmers in the area, who needed horseshoes for their horses, as well as all kinds of nuts and bolts for the stables. But residents of the village also had their wishes regarding fencing around gardens and similar facilities,

Coudert appears in this weblog because after his retirement he developed a special hobby, aimed at creating metal creations, mostly in the form of small characters, making use of the equipment in the forge that, also due to changed economic conditions, no longer had a business function. 

He processed all kinds of metal elements he still had in stock or collected, such as lids, pans and cutlery, to make these characters, some examples of which are shown above.

All creations got a place in the forge and because Coudert preferred to keep what he created himself, this resulted in a colorful collection of a variety of characters, as can be seen in the very first image.

The collection became known locally as the Rintintins of the blacksmith

In the early 20th century in France Rintintin was a popular name for young children's toy dolls. During the first World War, soldiers from the French army would wear small editions of these dolls as a mascot. Later in the 20th century, Rintintin became the name of a dog that played a role in American feature films.

Coudert considered the locomotive shown below to be the showpiece of the collection,

André Coudert passed away in 2014.

The image below, from Google Streetview, March 2021, gives an impression of the spot along the main street where the blacksmith shop was located. One gets the idea that seven years after Coudert's death, the situation around the forge with regard to the use of space was still the same.

The green fence, with metal decorations above and next to it, gives access to the courtyard where the forge was, and most likely still is located. A variety of metal decorations is also still present. 

It could also be that the former forge still houses Coudert's metal sculptures, but nothing can be found about this on the internet.

* Article (September 2010) Les rintintins du forgeron by Marie Michélle (mmf24) on French weblog Overblog
Entry in the inventory of French art environments by Bruno Montpied, Le Gazouillis des Éléphants, Paris (Eds du Sandre), 2017

André Coudert
The rintintins of the blacksmith
Montferrand-du-Périgord, dept Dordogne, region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France
it is unclear whether the collection 
still exists, and if so, where it resides

No comments:

Post a Comment