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Cup and saucer
  • Cup and saucer
    Huaut, Jean-Pierre, born 1655 - died 1723
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Cup and saucer

  • Place of origin:

    Geneva (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1700-1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Huaut, Jean-Pierre, born 1655 - died 1723 (maker)
    Huaut, Ami, born 1657 - died 1724 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted enamel on copper, mounted in gold

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    957&A-1882

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery, case CA20 []

Brothers Jean-Pierre and Ami Huaut painted this cup and saucer in coloured enamels on copper. Both pieces are mounted in gold to enrich their overall appearance as well as more practically to protect the enamel and disguise the copper edges. These skilled artists, along with their elder brother Pierre, learned enamelling from their father, also Pierre, a Huguenot who had left France by 1630 for Protestant Switzerland. After working for some years as enamellers to the Brandenburg court in Berlin, Jean-Pierre and Ami moved back to Geneva in 1700 where they worked until their deaths in 1723 and 1724 respectively.

The brothers specialised in painting watch-cases with delicate mythological, allegorical and Biblical subjects after engraved sources. This cup and saucer is a more unusual object type in their production and is among their best work. The decorative motifs are typical manifestations of late Baroque ornament with flower garlands, acanthus leaves, putti and masks. A landscape underneath the saucer features picturesque ruins and in the central medallion inside the saucer a fashionable lady sits décolletée before her mirror, presumably at her toilette. The other medallions contain mythological scenes, most involving Roman goddesses and their lovers.

Physical description

Some of the pairs of lovers painted on this cup and saucer have been identified as Venus and Adonis, Acis and Galatea, Verthumnus and Pomona and Flora and Zephyr. The latter pair is after an engraving by Antoine Coypel.

Place of Origin

Geneva (made)

Date

ca.1700-1720 (made)

Artist/maker

Huaut, Jean-Pierre, born 1655 - died 1723 (maker)
Huaut, Ami, born 1657 - died 1724 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted enamel on copper, mounted in gold

Object history note

Jean-Pierre Huaut (1655-1723) and his brother Ami Huaut (1657-1724) were sons of Huguenot master-enameller Pierre Huaut (1612-80) who was born in Châtellerault, (Poitou region), France, the son of a goldsmith. Pierre is recorded as living in Geneva by 1630 where he was apprenticed to the goldsmith Laurent Légaré. He taught enamelling to his sons Pierre II (1647-96/98), Jean-Pierre and Ami. First Pierre II, then his younger brothers were employed as enamellers to the Brandenburg court in Berlin. In 1682 Jean-Pierre and Ami worked in formal partnership. Following Pierre II's death, Jean-Pierre and Ami moved back to Geneva in 1700 where they continued to work in enamel until their own deaths in the 1720s. Watch-cases were the principal staple of their considerable production with mythological (and often erotic), allegorical and Biblical subjects after engraved sources their favoured designs. This cup and saucer is a more unusual object type for the brothers Huaut and is amongst their best work.

Descriptive line

Enamelled copper, painted in enamel colours with mythological and pastoral groups in medallions between acanthus leaves, garlands of flowers, putti and masks, and mounted with gold rims, Jean-Pierre and Ami Huaut, Geneva, ca.1700-20

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

Henri Clouzot, 'La miniature sur émail en France', Paris, [1928]
Pierre-Francis Schneeberger, 'Les peintres sur émail genevois au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siècle', Geneva, 1958
Catherine Cardinal, 'La Montre: des origines au XIXe siècle', Fribourg/Paris, ca.1985
Catherine Cardinal/translated by Jacques Pages, 'The watch: from its origins to the XIXth century', Bristol, 1989
Hans Jochen Boeckh, 'Emailmalerei auf genfer Taschenuhren vom 17. bis zum Beginnenden 19. Jahrhundert, Freiburg i. Br., [1982]
Sarah Coffin and Bodo Hofstetter, 'Portrait miniatures in enamel', London, 2000

Materials

Copper; Enamel; Gold

Techniques

Painted

Categories

Myths & Legends; Enamels

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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