Design attributed to Francesco Ladatte Italian
Probably by Andrea Boucheron

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521

In this virtuosic execution of spiraling scrolls Boucheron has defined the French-oriented character of the Rococo style in Turin. Although more solid and robust, our inkstand recalls one made in Paris in 1746–47 by the court silversmith Thomas Germain. Boucheron may have known this piece, as he is said to have trained in Germain's studio in the 1730s and is shown in a later portrait surrounded by examples of Germain's silver. The actual model of the Museum's inkstand is not necessarily Boucheron's, however, and may well have been the creation of his compatriot Francesco Ladatte (1706–1787), who had practiced as a designer and sculptor in Paris before returning to Turin in 1744. Both artists worked for the court of Savoy—Ladatte as sculptor, Boucheron as silversmith—and they are known to have collaborated on at least one occasion. That our piece was destined for the court is evident from the coat of arms of the House of Savoy engraved on the stand beneath the bell. It is presumably one of the many inkstands Boucheron is recorded as having made for the royal family.

Inkstand, Design attributed to Francesco Ladatte (Italian, Turin 1706–1787 Turin), Silver gilt, Italian, Turin

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