Francis Harrache (1710-1757)


TeaSpoon_1750_FH3.JPGFrancis Harrache was the son of Abraham Harrache, baptized at St Giles-in-the-Field 26 December 1710 and apprentised to Isaac Cabane, silversmith of St Martin-in-the-Fields on 31 May 1725 for a premium of seven guineas.

On completion of his apprenticeship in 1732 he took his young brother, Thomas, apprentice, describing himself as a 'snuff box maker'.

In the same year he married Jane Grignon of St Anne's, the daughter of Jean Grignon Hellenne LeSiure. JeanGrignon's trade or occupation has not been discovered. A native of Luondon in Poitou, he arrived in London in 1698 and married 1701. He was said to be living in Hogg Lane near the Three Pigeons when his daughter, Hellene, was baptized in 1702, but he does not appear in the rate books. Jane was baptized on 3 October 1708. She must have been related to Reynolds Grignion but was not his sister, as has been incorrectly suggested. Francis's marriage and the taking of his brother as apprentice, both in 1732, would suggest that he also became a partner with his stepfather, Gaspard Soleirol, in the family business in Great St Andrew Street in that year. The rate books show the latter's name until 1741, after which they shows Francis's, so it was probably about this time that Gaspard retired and moved to St Marylebone whence he later wrote his will, styling himself 'gentleman'.

Francis entered his first mark on 16 February 1737/8 as a smallwoker describing himself as ' Seven Dyals in great St. Andrew Street att ye blackmoors head St. Giles'.

His second mark, which would have been entered in the now missing register of smallworkers in 1739 in accordance with the 1738 Act, has long been accepted as the incuse FH crowned.

The rate books show him in Great St Andrews Street until 1754, where is his family house since 1708. He moved to larger premises nearby in Little Earl Street where he remained until his death in 1757.

Will_NationalArchives.jpgFrancis Harrache's Will, 7 August 1757. Source: National Archives.His will, proved on 7 August 1757, left everything to his wife Jane, who was sole executor, for life and then to their surviving children John and Elisabeth.

When Jane died the following year 1758, her will only mentioned Elisabeth and stipulates that should she not reach twenty-one years of age, the estate was to be divided between Jane's two sisters. Should these sisters also die without children reaching twenty-one then the estate was to be divided between Thomas Harrache (her brother-in-law) and Reynolds Grignion, who were joint executors.

Source : Brian Beet, "Foreign snuffbox makers in eighteenth century London", The Silver Society Journal, 14, 2002.

Gold Teaspoons and Sugar Nips (Rococo Grand Style) by Francis Harrache, circa 1745

His workshop also seems to have specialised in cast foliate teaspoons and sugar nips, of which a set in gold can be seen in the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House.

TeaSpoon_1750_FrancisHarache_Gilbert2.JPGGold teaspoons with a pair of tea tongs by Francis Harrache, circa 1750, in the Gilbert Collection.22-karat gold standard
Maker's mark : FH with a crown above for Francis Harache
Spoons : Length:10.5 cm, Weight 22 gm
Sugar Tongs : Length:12.8 cm, Weight:58 gm

Provenance : Sir John Noble, Bart., Ardkinglass.
Sale : Sotherby's, February 6, 1986, lot 48.

The spoons each have a shell-shaped bowl, which is chased on the outside and plain on the inside, with a leaf molding chased on the lower frontjunction. The upper end of the stem is chased on both sides with foliage, scrolls, and shell motifs. The nippers are of scissor form, with similar bowls and decoration.

The spoons are apparently raised from a single piece of metal and the nippers from two pieces, with a central pin through the pivot point.

The other two sets of mid-eighteenth-century gold teaspoons are recorded by Arthur Grimwade.

  • One of about 1745, with a pair of nippers, by John Wirgman. The design is of plain Hanoverian pattern.
  • The other of about 1750, unmarked, with a pair of sugar tongs and a straining spoon. The design is of similar pattern to the Gilbert set.

English gold plate other than snuffboxes and freedom boxes is very rare: a list published by Grimwade of all items then known from the period 1507-1830 falling outside the above-mentioned categories amounted to only about eighty objects. Inevitably, other examples have since come to light; indeed, neither these spoons nor the Gilbert gold waiters and cup and cover were recorded by Grimwade at that time.

"The Gilbert Collection - Silver and Gold", Los Angels County Museum of Art

Gold Snuff Box by Francis Harrache, circa 1750

GoldSnuffBox_FrancisHarrache_1750.jpgGold Snuff Box by Frances Harrache, London, circa 1750, the cover chased with a classical scene, possibly Orpheus and Eurydice, amongst architectural volutes, with reeded hinge mount and scrolling thumbpiece, the bombé sides with flowers and leaves amongst scrolls on a matted ground, the base chased with an idyllic landscape with sheep in the foreground and a bridge over a stream behind, height 2cm, length 5.7cm. This was sold for GBP 28,800 at Bonhams on 30 Jun 2010.From evidence of this mark Francis Harrache must have been one of the most prolific manufacturers of chased snuff boxes in silver, silver-gilt and gold during the middle decades of the century.

These boxes can occasionally be of quite light gauge and not always chased by the most distinguished hands, so he probably catered partly to the more modest end of this luxury trade, supplying retailers and agents with goods for stock on a tight budget.

Francis Harrache often worked in conjunction with the chaser Thomas Burges (1731-91). Though the box shown in the right picture is unsigned there are stylistic similarities other boxes with Burges' signature.

  • see plate 564, Kenneth Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe (Woodbridge 1990)
  • see Fig 13, Richard Edgecumbe, The Art of the Gold Chaser in Eighteenth-Century London (Oxford 2000). Interestingly, on all the Harache boxes mentioned by Edgecumbe, pages 37ff, the date letters are unclear or not present.


The Harrache family

The Harrache family from Rouen, many of them silversmiths, some of whom came to London from 1682 onwards. This surname was subject to an unusual variety of spellings for several decades after their arrival, but the second generation was quite consistent in the spelling Harrache, so it will be followed here except when quoting from contemporary documents.

The Harache family is a family of goldsmiths of Huguenot extraction, many of whom came to London from France towards the end of the 17th century to avoid persecution. They were responsible for some of England's most important silver of the time. The family was active in the production of silver plate in London for about a hundred years.

Oct10#20.JPGfrom Brian Beet, "Foreign snuffbox makers in eighteenth century London", The Silver Society Journal, 14, 2002.

Nicolas Harrache (?-1776/7)

It appears that the first member of the Harache family to respond to the persecution of Protestants in France and to make the journey to London was Nicolas, who came with his wife Marie Mascrier and their daughter Mariesome when between August 1667 and November 1668.
Their son Thomas was born in London in 1668 and his name appears in the baptismal list for Threadneedle Street church dated 29 November (Huguenot Society Quarto Series 13 p189). No record has so far been discovered, either in Rouen or in London, that Nicolas was a master goldsmith. There is no record of his work or where he and his family lived, although the church at which his son was baptised indicates that he had taken up residence in the general area later occupied by the members of the family who followed him to England. There appear to be no burial records at this early date but it must be assumed that Nicolas died in late 1676 or early 1677, because in the latter year Marie returned to Rouen, where she remarried on 28 October 1677 (Societe du Protestantisme Francais).
Her new husband was Jean Lefebvre who appears not to be directly related to the Lefebvre family, some of whose members later were apprenticed to Peter Harache.
Eleven years later, in 1688, Marie made the return trip to London, bringing her husband and family with her; the records of Threadneedle Street church show that on 20 May 1688 ‘Marie Masserier wife of Jean Lefévre of Rouen, Thomas Harache of Rouen and Marie Harache of Rouen’ all ‘presented themselves to make reconnaissance’ at ‘The French church of London’.

Madeleinne Harache (1645-)

Next to arrive was Madeleinne Harache, who was married to a Parisian goldsmith named Edouard Hobbema; they came in 1675(HSQS 58 p265).
Madeleinne Harache, born 1645, left her home in Rouen as a young woman and went to Paris, probably to join her brother Pierre (Peter I) Harrache who is known to have been there in 1668. This assumption has to be de dicto although it is unlikely that she would have gone to that city to live on her own and the evidence is that Madeleinne was in Paris when she married. While in Paris she met a Parisian goldsmith named Edouard Hobbema and they were married there in December 1669. As far as can be ascertained their only child, Etienne, was born in 1674 and a year later Edouard brought his family to London, presenting his tésmoignage at Threadneedle Street church on 18th July 1675.

Pierre Harache (the elder) (1639-1712)

The most famous member of the family was Madeleinne's brother Pierre Harache (the elder) (Peter I as designated by Grimwade) who was born in Rouen in northern France in 1639 and was baptised at Quevilly, the principal Huguenot church of the city, on 25 September (Societe du P Francais). He arrived in England in October 1681(National Archives T11/8 p11) and appears together with his wife Anne in the denization list dated 26 June 1682 giving them the right to trade in London.

He was made free of the Goldsmiths' Company on 21 July 1682 and took Simon Pantin as his apprentice in 1686. Although a Sterling mark has been attributed to him dating from his Freedom, the only certain mark recorded for him was entered at Goldsmiths' Hall as a large-worker (producing candlesticks and hollowware) in 1697, when he gave his address as "Suffolk Street near Chairing (sic) Cross" (Mark Book Goldsmiths' Hall, London). He remained there until his death in 1712.

Whereas most members of the Harache family were small-workers and could possibly have carried on their trade in their own homes, a large-worker would have needed a properly equipped workshop with a horse, a snarling iron, a lathe, a wire stretcher, a doming block and many other facilities to say nothing of a forge and the wherewithal to make castings. It seems likely that the Haraches established themselves in premises on the corner of Great Suffolk Street where just such a workshop was set up. It is even possible that this workshop was big enough to accommodate the small-workers in their community as well, so that the various addresses recorded for them need not necessarily indicate where they carried on their trade. Indeed the complexity of such a workshop suggests that it was already well established by the time Pierre Harrache (Peter I) moved into it and cousins appears to endorse this possibility when, in relation to the small amount of plate and the absence of the mention of tools, imported into this country by the Harache in October 1681, he states “This suggests an earlier immigration, although it is not known exactly when that may have been”.

Although there is no record showing that Pierre Harache (the elder) was ever in receipt of Royal Bounty, it is not clear whether he continued to fulfil commissions until his death. However, at least one piece has been identified bearing his mark and dated 1705.

Pierre Harache's work is of the highest standard in both design and execution. He used cut card work and applied decoration as well as engraving much of which has been attributed to Blaise Gentot (1658-1700). He enjoyed the patronage of the greatest clients of the day and was rivalled only by his fellow Huguenot David Willaume.

Anne Harrache

Although not common, it was not unknown for women in the Harache family to be practicing goldsmiths in their own right; Heal's reference to “Mrs. Harache, silversmith, corner of Great Suffolk Street, 1699” may well have been correct, since Pierre's wife Anne appears in the denization list of 1682 giving her the right to trade in her own name. This would explain the reference to Madame Anne Harache supplying a Monsieur Grandmaison with a pair of silver candlesticks in Paris in 1668 (Archives Nationales Z1B 517) and a similar reference to Mrs. Ann Harache supplying a silver plate weighing 172 oz to the Duke of Somerset in 1690.

Pierre and Anne had at least one daughter, Anne, born in London in 1683. Anne married her cousin Etienne Hobbema at Leicesterfields on 1st April 1700 giving her address as Suffolk Street. As she was only 17 years of age, agreement, by both families, to the marriage had to be established and a 'marriage allegation' was drawn up on 29th March 1700. Etienne, an engraver, had been endenizened in 1691 but died in 1705 and Anne remarried in 1706. Her new husband, Louis (Lewis) Mettayer, yet another Huguenot silversmith, also used the Great Suffolk Street workshop.

Jeremy Harache (1654-1702 ?)

Jeremy Harache arrived in England by 16 September 1683 (HSQS 21 p136). He was born in Rouen in 1654 and was baptized at Quevilly on 26 May Societe du P Francais). Neither his mark nor examples of his work have, as yet, been identified and he returned to France in 1697, where he died before 1702.

Jeremy was followed in 1686 by his brothers Pierre Harache (junior) and Abraham.

Pierre Harache (junior) (1653-1718)

Pierre Harache (junior) (Peter II as designated by Grimwade) was baptised at Quevilly 11 April 1653 (Societe du P Francais) and was only distantly related to Pierre Harache (the elder).
Pierre Harache, whose father, also Pierre, had died in 1673, came to this country accompanied by his mother Ysabeau Guerin, his wife Jeanne Le Maignen and several other members of his family in about 1686. His brother Abraham presented his tésmoignage on 22nd August 1686 and this is almost certainly when the family arrived in London. The family took up residence in Compton Street although Pierre's name does not appear in the rate books at that address. He gave Compton Street as his address in 1698 when he registered his mark at Goldsmiths' Hall and was said by Heal to be still there in 1705.
He was endenizened 29 September 1698, possibly having worked as a journeyman for his namesake until then, and was made free of the Goldsmiths' Company 24 October 1698. He entered three marks at Goldsmiths’ Hall as a large-worker on 25 October 1698 giving his address as Compton Street (Mark Book-Goldsmiths' Hall, London). In 1703 he took Jacques des Rumeaux as his apprentice.
He was in receipt of Royal Bounty between 1714 and 1717, when he returned to France, giving his address at that time as Grafton Street.
He died in France in 1718.

Following the recent discovery of the date of death of Pierre Harache (the elder) and a reassessment of the marks of both Pierres, many important works previously attributed to the younger man have been reattributed to the elder, including the wine cistern of 1704 belonging to the Worshipful Company of Barber-Surgeons in London and the Methuen Dish of 1703 at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Abraham Harache (1661-1722)

Abraham Harache was born in 1661 and was baptized at Quevilly on 9 October(Societe du P Francais). He was the brother of Peter II Harrache and, most probably, second cousin of Peter I Harrache.

Abraham Harrache is recorded as a smallworker silversmith (producing mostly spoons and snuff boxes) in Rouen 1679-83. He arrived in London by 22 August 1686 (HSQS 21 p136) via Rotterdam however he was not endenizened until 11March 1700 (HSQS 18 p313). There is no record of his mark although it has been tentatively identified.

He married Marie Louis, daughter of Thomas Louis and Judy Bonivers, at Petit Charenton church on Christmas Day 1703. On the baptisms of their daughters Judith and Francoise in 1704 and 1706, he was said to be in Compton Street, St Anne's, but he does not appear in the rate books there or anywhere else in St Anne's.

By 1708 the family had moved to St Giles, probably to the house in Great St Andrew Street, Seven Dials, that was to be the family home until 1754. Five children were baptised between 1708 and 1717, indluding Francis in 1710 and Thomas in 1717.

He died in 1722 and was buried at St. James’s Paddington. In his will, proved on 19 November 1722, he said he was a 'silversmith ... of St Giles' and left everything to his wife Mary who was sole executor.

Mary remarried in 1724. Her second husband was Gaspard Soleirol of St James's, a
bachelor of forty who had two years earlier inherited the estate of his cousin Michael, 'of Barnstable, gent' (presumably a retired merchant). The Soleirols were mostly wine merchants, and fairly successful ones at that, but Gaspard is the only individual encountered in this whole study who had difficulty signing his own name, as both his marriage license (signed G. Soleira in very poor writing) and the entry of his mark as smallworker in 1724 (Gorspor Soloro) attest. Gaspard entered this
mark from Great St Andrews Street so he must have done so on taking over Abraham's business as well as his household.

Francis Harache (1710-1757)

Francis Harache was born in 1710, the son of Abraham Harache, and apprenticed to Isaac Cabane, silversmith of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in 1725. On completion of his apprenticeship he took his brother Thomas as his apprentice. He was a smallworker and on entering his mark at Goldsmiths' Hall in 1738. he gave his address as “ye Seven Dyals in great St. Andrew Street att ye blackmoors head St. Giles”.
He had a prodigious output and his second mark is believed to be the FH crowned mark that appears on a great deal of smallwork. This datum would presumably have been recorded in the register for smallworkers covering the period May 1739 to July 1758, which is no longer extant.

See Francis Harrache's biography

Thomas Harache (1717-1785)

Thomas Harache was born in 1717, the son of Abraham Harache, and apprenticed to his brother Francis in 1732. On completion of his apprenticeship in 1741 he set up on his own in St. Martins Lane where he remained until 1750. He took apprentices John Jacobs in 1743 and William Danser in 1744 describing himself variously as Silversmith and Snuff box maker.
His mark would have been recorded at Goldsmiths' Hall but would have been in the missing register. On moving to Pall Mall in 1751, he would have registered a second mark and was calling himself a Goldworker at this time. Neither mark has so far been identified. He retired in 1778 at which time he was calling himself a Jeweller, Goldsmith and Toyman. He died, a fairly wealthy man, in 1785.

Jean Harache I (1655-1734)

The fourth member of this branch of the family to come to London was Jean Harache who was born in 1655 and baptized at Quevilly on 30 May (Societe du P Francais). He was in England by 16 December 1687 (HSQS 18 p198). There is no mark recorded for him at that date although the mark registered by his son Jean Harache II in 1726 appears on smallwork of the late 17th century. His address is given as Riders Court. He died in 1734. He was in receipt of Royal Bounty from 1722.

Jean Harache II (1698-?)

Jean Harache II was born in 1698 (HSQS 29 p64), the son of Jean Harache, and the likelihood is that he was apprenticed to his father although no record of this has, as yet, been found. He was describing himself as a jeweler when he gave testimony in a Chancery case in 1722 and he too gave his address as Riders Court, at that time having been there ‘near 25 years’.
The mark recorded in the small-workers register at Goldsmiths Hall in 1726 against the name Jean Harache, though appearing on plate of the late 17th century and thus that of Jean (I), must have been that of Jean (II) at this date.

Third Pierre Harrache (?-1709) and Company 'Pet: harache &C goldsmiths'

It is now known that the Haraches traded as a Company under the title 'Pet: harache &C goldsmiths' (National Archives C110/46/155) and that there was a third Pierre Harache in this company who was dealing in second hand silver with Hoares' Bank between 1697 and 1705 (The Archivist, C.Hoare & Co.).

This third Pierre Harache (?-1709?) (currently undesignated) appears as a ratepayer in Little Newport Street, as was that of a third Jean Harache, between 1700 and 1709 although he does not seem to have been a practicing silversmith at that time. He is shown at that address in the records (ledger for plate) of Hoare's Bank, with whom he traded in "sterling and silver" between 1697 and 1705. 1709 is also the year after which he disappears from church registers and therefore seems to have some significance. It may have been the year of his death although no such record has, as yet, been found.

His background and early life remain a mystery and indeed it is not, as yet, known where he came from or when he entered this country but his mark, assuming that Grimwade's attribution of Pierre the elder (Peter I) 's sterling mark is correct, has been found on an early mote spoon and this, by comparison with Peter I's new standard mark shows that he must have been associated with the same extended family.

Although some authorities have suggested that Pierre the elder (Peter I) was the man recorded as being in Newport Street, but have misrepresented the address as Great Newport Street, and yet others have claimed that it was Pierre the junior (Peter II) who must have been the rate payer at Little Newport Street, even asking "was he using two addresses at the same time?", the fact that this Peter Harache was trading with Hoare's Bank in second hand silver at a time when both Peter I and Peter II were practicing silversmiths must indicate that he was a third and, as yet, unrecorded Pierre Harache. This accounts for the newly discovered third maker's mark which so closely resembles the new standard mark of Pierre the elder (Peter I) that it cannot be other than an Harrache mark.

Third Jean Harache (?-1716)

A third Jean Harache (Jean III) (?-1716),
appears as a ratepayer in Little Newport Street, too was a small-worker but, in common with many small-workers of the time, he does not appear to have registered a mark at Goldsmiths' Hall although he almost certainly used one.
He may have been closely related to the third Pierre Harache (Peter III) (?-1709?) and indeed it is possible that they came to this country together.
That there is no record of témoignage, reconnaissance or denization in the names of either Peter III or Jean III remains a mystery but both can be shown to have been here in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and both can be clearly separated from their namesakes.
Some authorities have suggested that the Jean Harache in Little Newport Street was Jean I but this would necessitate that he had absented himself from the matrimonial home at Riders Court from the time that his son was five years of age until he was fifteen and this would seem to be highly unlikely. Further, Jean I’s death is recorded as 1734 whereas Brian Beet records the death of the Little Newport Street Jean Harache as 1716.

David McKinley, "The Third Pierre Harache of London", The Finial, Volume 18/01 September/October 2007
Brian Beet, "Foreign snuffbox makers in eighteenth century London", The Silver Society Journal, 14, 2002.
Seiji Yamauchi, April 2010

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