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Ewer

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1826-1838 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Odiot, Charles-Nicholas (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt (in two colours), ebony

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with Art Fund support

  • Museum number:

    M.4 to B-1973

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries, case 1

This ewer is part of a composite tea service consisting of a hot water urn, sugar bowl, tea caddy, teapot and ewer. The firm of Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot was one of the most important and influential Parisian silversmiths at the beginning of the 19th century. Skilful practitioners of the neo-classical style, Odiot were patronised by the aristocracy of Europe. J.B. C. Odiot's son, Charles Nicolas studied English technique and style at Garrards and took over the family business in 1827. Tea drinking after dinner became fashionable in the early 19th century, even in France. In 1827, Domestic Economy and Cookery for Rich and Poor reported that " In France, now, the tea-table is partially introduced to accommodate the English, which serves to show off their nice cakes and bon bons…"

Physical description

Silver-gilt (two colours). The oviform body is engraved with an upper border of laurel and a lower border of palm leaves. To the front is applied a wreath of flowers encircling a Bacchante mask whose hair is entertwined with with vine-leaves and grapes. To one side is applied a nude male figure, winged, holding a flaming torch in his right hand and wreath of laurel in his left. To the other is applied a winged figure holding a crater and a serpent. The rim is decorated with a band of palm leaves: the junction of the body and neck is also decorated with a band of palm leaves. The junction of the body and base is encircled by a rope girdle; the base is domed in form, and engraved with palm leaves: the moulded edge is decorated with a band of palm leaves. The ebony handle rises from sockets composed of palm leaves and acanthus: the upper socket is encircled by a band of rosettes and there is a rosette to either side of it.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1826-1838 (made)

Artist/maker

Odiot, Charles-Nicholas (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt (in two colours), ebony

Marks and inscriptions

Maker's mark of Charles-Nicholas Odiot used by him since 1826.

Standard mark: First standard mark for silver in use in Paris from 16 August 1819 until 9 May, 1838.

Excise mark: Large excise mark for silver in use in Paris between 16 August 1819 and 9 May, 1838. Anvil mark,
The above marks are struck only once.

Restricted warranty mark: The Boar's head in use in Paris from 10 may 1838 (struck three times).

Dimensions

Height: 29 cm maximum, Width: 16 cm

Object history note

Bought from Messrs. Frank Partridge, New Bond Street, London.

From a tea service. Part of a composite tea-service with elements by J.C.-B and his son Charles-Nicolas Odiot. Probably made up during the Restoration. This is part of a composite tea service, made up from pieces marked for Jean-Baptiste (master 1785) and his son Charles-Nicolas Odiot (mark in use from 1826).

Historical significance: The Odiot workshop was one of the largest, most prestigious in Paris, supplying the court and aristocracy. It was quite usual to make up sets of tea, coffee or other services from stock. Designs and casting patterns were kept and re-used as necessary.

The bowl is characteristic of Odiot's production and the so-called "Empire" style, popular in France in the early 19th century. The use of classical motifs and figures applied to plain surfaces, and for pouring vessels, spouts ending in animal's heads are typical. It was considered the epitome of French stylishness in England. The French craft, on the other hand, looked to England for technical developments; Charles-Nicolas spent some time working as a modeller for Garrards in London.

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt, Paris 1826-38, mark of Claude-Nicholas Odiot.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ronald Lightbown. French Silver Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogues, London, HMSO. 1978, pp.112-13 ill. ISBN. 0112902502

Labels and date

SERVICE
Makers: Jean-Baptiste Claude Odiot (1763-1850), Charles-Nicolas Odiot (1789-1868)
Paris: about 1800-1830
Silver-gilt, ebony
M.3 to c, 4 to c, 5,6,7-1973

This composite service by two Odiots, father and son, comprises of a hot water urn (date mark for 1798-1809), sugar bowl (1809-1819), tea caddy (1819-1838), teapot and jug (both 1826-1838). A coffee pot is probably missing. The service was probably made up under the Restoration (1814-1830). After the Revolution of 1789 J.-B. C. Odiot distanced himself from Paris and the Terror by serving in the army. He then resumed the business maintained by his wife and at the 1802 Paris Exhibition shared a gold medal with Henry Auguste. [1987-2006]

Materials

Silver; Gold; Ebony

Techniques

Gilding; Engraving (incising)

Subjects depicted

Serpent; Mask; Grapes; Palm leaf; Acanthus; Vine leaves; Torch

Categories

Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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