(I found & scanned this image from the Rhode Island School of Design Museum’s “Selected Works” general collection catalog (2008). The photo is by Erik Gould, the mediocre scan is all my fault. I copied out the text as it is in the book, sorry for the offensive / exoticizing language… I really appreciate your work with the blog! Thank you!)
African Venus, 1851
Bronze, silver and silver gilt on a marble socle, h. 15.5” without base
"Cordier often embellished his sculptures with polychrome marble and with precious metal patinas. Although associated with a style that reinforced romantic stereotypes of exotic cultures, Cordier used this approach to convey authenticity in his heads of African men and women. Silver patination dignifies this reduced-scale "African Venus", modeled after a French woman from Guadeloupe who had been enslaved as a child. A larger version, paired with a bust of "Saïd Abdallah of the Darfour Tribe" at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Crystal Palace, London, was purchased for the collection of Queen Victoria. Cordier was subsequently appointed ethnographic sculptor for the Museum of Natural History in Paris, where he set out to demonstrate that all races possessed their own unique beauty, rivaling that of classical antiquity."
(here’s a link to the image on my server: http://secretdoorprojects.org/images/other/tumblrimages/cordier.png)