Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751)


Oct17#05.JPGMaynard Master's style ewer and dish, marked by Paul de Lamerie, arms of Mountrath, 1742, Gilbert CollectionFull name Paul Jacques de Lamerie, son of Paul Souchay de la Merie, officer in the army of William III, and Constance nee Roux, Huguenots, baptized 14 April 1688, at the Waloon Church, Bois-le-Duc('s Hertogenbush), Holland. Brought to England by his parents at the age of eleven and a half months, the family settling in Berwick Street, Soho, and subsequently living in considerable straits. Endenizened with his father 24 June 1703.

Aprenticed without premium 6 August 1703 to Peter Plattel (Pierre, Platel q.v.), when his father is described as 'Of the perish of St. Anne's Westminster Gent'.
Free, 4 February 1713. Address: Windmill Street, near the Haymarket.

Goldsmith to the King 1716 (Major-General H. W. D. Sitwell. 'The Jewell House and the Royal Goldsmiths' Arch. Journ. CXVII, p. 152).

Married, 11 February 1717, Louise Jolliott at Glasshouse Street Church with licence of Archbishop of Canterbury. To them six children were born: Margaret 1718, Mary 1720, Paul 1725, Daniel 1727, Susannah 1729 and Louisa Elizabeth 1730. Only Mary, Susannah and Louisa survived infancy.

Joined to Livery Comp and auctioned by Langford of Covent GArdenany 18 July 1717.

Second Sterling Mark as largeworker, 17 March 1733.

Address: Golden Ball, Windmill Street, St, James's Styled 'Captain' from 1736 and 'Majpr' from 1743, presumably as officer in one of the volunteer associations.
Member of committee of the Company in 1738 to prepare the petition and bill to Parliament for revision of hallmarking.

Moved to Gerreard Street sometime in in 1738. Heal records him here at No. 45 to 1739, 55 in 1742, and 42 from 1743-51, presumably due to directory or rate-book errors.

Oct17#07.JPGThird mark, 27 June 1739. Address: 'Garard' Street. Fourth Warden 1743, third Warden 1746, second Warden 1747, but never prime Warden, possibly from failing health. Second surviving daughter Susannah married, 29 March 1750, to Joseph Defaubre.

Lamerie died 1 August 1751, and buried at St. Anne's Soho. His will, dated 24 May 1750, ordered all plate in hand to be finished and stock to be auctioned by Langford of Covent Garden, his journeymen Frederick Knopfell and Samuel Collins to have GBP 15 and GBP 20 respectively, the latter 'to live with my executors until my Plate in hand shall be finished'.

The short obituary from the London General Evening Post, Thursday August 1 - Saturday August 3, 1751 is worthy of recall: 'Last Thursday died Mr Paul de Lamerie of Gerrard Street much regretted by his Family and Acquaintance as a Tender Father, a kind Master and and upright Dealer'.

Of the remaining daughters, Mary married John Malliett 11 November 1754, at St. Anne's Louisa died unmarried, 22 September 1761. Lamerie's widow Louisa died 8 June 1765.

Full acknowledgement is made for the above biographical detail to the first and unsurpassable monograph on an English goldsmith, 'Paul De Lamerie' by P. A. S. Phillips, 1935, whose enthusiasm and industry in research stands as a model for every disciple.

Arthur G. Grimwade "London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 Their marks & Lives"

Development of the Craft

By the time that George II ascended the throne in 1727 the entry foreigners into the craft had, except for odd isolated cases, virtually ceased and a second generation of Huguenot craftmen was already working after apprenticeship to their fathers or other compatriots. Lamerie himself was one of these, having emerged from his articles to Platel in 1712 and by the third decade being firmly established in the leading position, as witness the Sutherland wine-cistern of 1719, the scintillating Treby toilet service of 1724 or the Russian wine-cistern of 1726. In 1728 Sir Robert Walpole went to him as the inevitable artist for his Great Seal Salver and in 1734 he was called on to produce his two great Chandeliers in the Kremlin, which it is difficult to believe were not direct orders from the Tsarina Anne, since there seems no reason to think that the Imperial crowns and armorials which crown them are from any hand but Lamerie's. From then until his death in 1751 he dominated the London goldsmiths, a position recognized by his anonymous obituarists who variously described him as 'much regretted', 'eminet' and 'Particularly famous in making fine ornamental Plate, and has been very instrumental in bringing that Branch of Trade to the perfection it is now in.'

Arthur G. Grimwade "Rococo Silver 1727-1765"

Tea Equipage by Paul de Lamerie in 1735

Oct15#06.jpgTea Equipage by the great goldsmith Paul de Lamerie is illustrated (by kind permission of Leeds Museums and Galleries - Temple Newsam House). It dates to 1735 and has a set of 12 cast whiplash teaspoons, a mote spoon, an unusual pair of tea tongs, a set of twelve tea knives, two tea caddies, a sugar caddy and a milk jug; all these are housed in an elegant, silver mounted, fitted shagreen box. The maker of the tea tongs is John Allen I - a fairly prolific early maker - and it is interesting to note that Paul de Lamerie saw fit to buy in those tongs rather than have tem produced in his workshop. This seems to have been by no means unusual, as other such examples have been recorded. Source: Dr. David Shlosberg, "Eighteenth Century Silver Tea Tongs"This equipage, the earliest complete English tea set preserved, was made as a wedding present for the Huguenors Jean Daniel Boissier and Suzanne Judith Berchere who were married at St. Peter le Poor, London, in April, 1735, and later purchased Lime Grove, Putney. The bride's father, Jaques Louis Berchere, from Paris, a jeweler and banker in Broad Street and an officer of the French church, Threadneedle Street, was probably responsible for the commission. Jean Daniel was the son of Guillaume Boissier, admitted as a Burgess of Geneva in 1695.

The three canisters and cream jug bear the London hallmarks for 1735-6, and were specially made for the set. The other items were not hallmarked. The canisters are engraved with initials G., B. and S. for Green tea, Bohea tea and sugar respectively. With the exception of the strainer spoon and sugar nippers, every peace, including silver mounts on the original velvet-lined mahogany case, is engraved with the arms of Boissier impaling Berchere. The intervinted handles of the 12 spoons, the elaborate scroll handle of the cream boat, and the chased, cast and engraved ornament on the canisters are early examples of the Rococo style in English silver, of which Paul de Lamerie was the leading exponent. The knives (used to cut the cane-sugar) and the sugar nippers were supplied by a specialist John Allen, who registered his mark as a smallworker at Goldsmiths' Hall in May, 1733.

"The Quiet Conquest - The Huguenots 1685 to 1985", The museum of London

Maynard Master, active 1736-1745

Oct17#06.JPGThe Maynard dish by Paul de Lamerie, London, 1736In the mid-1730s a gifted artist began to work for Paul de Lamerie. His identity remains obscure, but his hand is distinctive. His outstanding skill first appears on the Maynard dish, marked in 1736/37, leading some to refer to him as the "Maynard Master". There are several distingish quirks of the Maynard Master's style. His compositions are sophisticated, weaving earthy, abstract imagery and naturalism around figural scenes. He favoured low-relief scenes enclosed in an irregular frame, with the field often apparently torn open from the smooth surrounding surface. Exquisitely rendered garlands of flowers or cascades of coral and shells often surround the frame, which might be garnished with distinctive puffy "cinnamon bun" scrolls. The scenes within these elaborate frames are often inhabited scowling, jowly toddlers with large heads and elongated torsos and dimply limbs. His adult figures have long torsos and narrow shoulders. He was particulaly at home in the rendering of turbulent waves or puffy cloudsm sometimes pierced by rays of light or lightning. These might be given a luminous, even liquid quality by delicate chasing and burnishing. Several of the Maynard Master's motifs are common enough that they might be called signatures: an animated droopu lion's head, often resting on its paws, and the head of the infant Mercury, with wings poking through a perkpie hat.

Paul de Lamerie seems to have engaged the Maynard Master for many - though not all - of major commissions from about 1736 to about 1745. A series of ewers and dishes, indluding one made for Goldsmith's Company in 1741/42 and another for the 6th Earl of Mountrath in 1742/43 represent the full range of his capabilities. Scholars have debated the attribution of an unmarked set known as the Ilchester ewer and dish, but although the construction of the ewer is unusual, the set seems to fit comfortably within the Maynard Master's oeuvre. He was not assigned to produce flat relief-decorated objects, though this would seem to have been his specialty. A small group of more sculptural work, indluding the candlesticks in the Cahn collection, and the Marlborough inkstand, represents his efforts in three dimensions. Ubaldo Vitali, in a recently published paper, suggests that this individual was mainly a chaser who would have worked the models for the cast components of these low-relief borders in metal, a medium with which he was at ease. Some elements of a design might call for wax or wood models, and the cast components might be applied to a chased body, but it is in the chased areas of the low relief that the delicate, flowing character of his scenes is most palpable. We do not know the nature of the Maynard Master's employment under Paul de Lamerie. Although most of his work bears Paul de Lamerie's mark, he seems to have supplied some finished goods for sale by other goldsmiths. A pair of small dishes, marked by Christian Hillan, for example, have the familiar liminous treatment of clouds and sky and is surely his work, and another example of the same model, marked by Peter Archambo is likely to be by his hand as well.

Five drawings of design for silver toilet service as wedding gifts requested by the Augstus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony (1696-1763) are discovered in the Dresden archives recently and attributed to the Maynard Master, circa. 1735-47. The Dresden drawings show a kinship with some silver marked by Charles Frederick Kandler, who arrived in London from his native Dresden in 1727, is believed to have been a younger brother of Johann Joachim Kandler, the famous modeler at the Meissen Factory. He seems to have left the London scene in the mid-1730s, but his premises on Jermyn Street were taken over by Charles Frederick Kandler.

Charles Frederick Kandler was first mentioned in the register of the Goldsmiths' Company in London as a 'largeworker' in 1727 in St Martin's Lane, with a partner, James Murray (d c. 1730). In 1735 he was recorded as a goldsmith in Jermyn Street near St James's church and used the initials CK or KA as his mark. Another goldsmith named Charles Frederick Kandler, possibly a cousin or nephew, was entered in the register in 1735, located at the same address. He was known as Frederick Kandler and used the initials FK and KA as his mark.

Paul de Lamerie and Charles Kandler certainly did business together; a group of candlesticks in the Ashmolean Museum, some marked by de Lamerie, and some marked by Kandler, are testimony to that.

Ellenor Alcorn, "Beyond the Maker's Mark, Paul de Lamerie Silver in the Cahn Collection"

Four salts by Paul de Lamerie in 1739/40

SaltAndSpoon_PaulDeLamerie_1739_2.JPGSet of Four Salts and Spoons by Paul de Lamerie, London, 1739. These salts were acquired by Clark with two identical copies supplied by a victorian silversmith Paul Storr in 1819A set of four cast salts with accompanying spoons illustrates the marriage of naturalism and fantasy so characteristic of the rococo style. Each salt is conceived as a abalone shell supported by a mermaid draped in netting, encrusted with sea shells and coral. Sea shell and coral spoons continue the marine theme. The four salts, marked by de Lamerie in 1739/40, were acquired by Clark in 1930 with two identical copies by Paul Storr (1771-1844) dated 1819/20. Storr borrowed freely from de Lamerie's work and is known to have supplemented objects originally supplied by the earlier goldsmith. (1)

(1) For examples, see Arthur Grimwade, "Family Silver of Three Centuries," Apollo, vol. 82 (December 1965), p. 500, Fig. 4; and Arthur G. Grimwade, The Queen's Silver, A Survey of Her Majesty's Personal Collection (The Connoisseur, London, 1953), Pl. 17.

Silver in the Clark Art Institute - Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Magazine Antiques, Oct, 1997 by Beth Carver Wees






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