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Coffeepot

François Thomas Germain (French, Paris 1726–1791 Paris, master 1748)

Date:
1757
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Silver with ebony handle
Dimensions:
H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm), W. with handle 12 in. (30.5 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1933
Accession Number:
33.165.1
  • Description

    Germain, the son of a royal silversmith, was himself appointed "orfèvre du roi" in 1748. From then until about 1765 he was the most fashionable silversmith in Paris, with a workshop of more than one hundred craftsmen executing commissions for the courts of France, Portugal, and Russia. This coffeepot is one of six made as part of a large table service ordered in 1756 by Joseph I of Portugal. With this masterful Rococo design Germain created an extraordinary impression of movement and surface brilliance through the spiral channeling of the body, the scrolled and foliate legs and feet, and the swirl of coffee leaves and berries at the base of the handle.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: [around rim of handle socket]: Fait par F.T. Germain Sculp[teu]r Orf[ev]er [sic] du Roy aux Galleries du Louvre à Paris 1757

    Marking: [1] crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, F T G, device a fleece (maker's large mark)
    [2] crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, F T G (maker's small mark)
    [3] crowned A (Paris charge mark, 1756–62)
    [4] crowned q (Paris warden's mark, 1756–57)
    [5] little cow (Paris discharge mark for work intended for export, 1765–74[?])
    [6] boar's head (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1838–79)

    Location of marks:
    [on underside]: [1], [3], [4]
    [inside cover]: [2], [3], [4]
    [on rim of coffeepot]: [5]
    [on handle and on underside]: [6]

  • Provenance

    Joseph I, King of Portugal (from 1757) ; Portugese Crown (until 1880's) ; Countess d'Edla (from 1880s) ; Dr. and Mrs. Gomez (through descent from Countess d'Edla) ; [ Jacques Helft , Paris, 1933; sold to MMA ]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
197462

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