Call for patrons for a drawing collection from the Manufacture Odiot


28/1/09 – Call for patrons – Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs – Collections of drawings in decorative arts are rare. When they concern one of the greatest silversmith establishments in France, they become exceptional. This explains the importance of the 176 sheets from the Odiot factory for which the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is seeking patrons.

Founded in 1690, famous especially for its Empire silversmith work due to the high quality of the pieces executed by Jean-Baptiste-Claude for the Emperor (sword and scepter from the coronation, cradle of the King of Rome – including its drawing by Adrien-Louis-Marie Cavellier which is part of the collection on sale today , ill. 3 -, campaign set for the Emperor, etc.), and soon after throughout Europe (Demidoff set), this factory is still known today as one of the most prestigious French silversmith manufacturers. The quality of the models, provided by talented artists, its excellent technique, the discreet elegance in the balance between form and decoration were, and continue to be, the reasons for its success.

1. Adrien-Louis-Marie Cavelier (1785-1867)
Basket
Watercolour
Private Collection
Photo : Sotheby’s

2. Auguste Garneray (1785-1824)
Sugar Bowl
Watercolour
Private Collection
Photo : Sotheby’s


3. Adrien-Louis-Marie Cavelier (1785-1867)
King of Rome’s Cradle
Watercolour
Private Collection
Photo : Sotheby’s

Although French public collections offer extensive holdings in silversmith pieces from the establishment, none of them holds a set of drawings by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot. There are indeed drawings from this institution (musée d’Orsay, bibliothèque Jacques Doucet), but none of them represent a unified ensemble such as the one on sale today at Sotheby’s London. It consists of 176 works, executed by artists who provided the models for the most productive period of this factory (Directoire, Consulat and Empire), such as Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, Jean-Guillaume Moitte, Auguste Gameray (ill. 1, 2 and 3), Charles Moreau, etc. They reveal the extremely high quality and diversity of the models, be it for either decorative or functional pieces.

4. Charles Moreau and
Auguste Garneray (1785-1824)
Plan for a tea fountain
Private Collection
Photo : Sotheby’s

5. Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot (1763-1850)
Tea Fountain
Silver
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Photo : Musée des Arts Décoratifs


The acquisition of a veritable Odiot collection by the musée des Arts Décoratifs is not only desirable, it is also of prime importance, both for French heritage and for decorative arts museums. Furthermore, these holdings correspond perfectly with the collections of the musée des Arts Décoratifs as it already owns the 32 silversmith models donated by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot to the government in 1819. This represents, of course, a considerable budget – 1,300,000€ - but the stakes are well worth it and the tax benefits for business donations (the collection obtained the status of work of major patrimonial interest) are attractive enough, we hope, to incite generous patronage for this undertaking.

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Sophie Mouquin, mercredi 28 janvier 2009



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