Autumn 2022
Florian Doux, our silverware expert and the co-author alongside Michèle Bimbenet-Privat of the catalogue of the Louvre Museum's silverware collection, to be published this autumn 2022, under the title:
"French and European silversware from the Renaissance and modern times, XVIth, XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries: The Louvre Museum collection"
The publication of the catalogue raisonné of the Louvre Museum's silverware collection marks a fundamental turning point for this area of research. The exceptional magnitude of this collection, gradually constituted by multiple generations, makes it without a doubt the most beautiful collection in the world. The catalogue bests represents the eighteenth-century silver, including numerous pieces of tableware from the great royal and princely services of the Ancien Régime. Nevertheless, it also comprises toiletries, furniture accessories (torches, mirrors, caskets) and religious silverware, in particular that from the treasury of the Order of the Holy Spirit assembled at the end of the 16th century. Masterpieces, such as the gold chest of the jewels of Louis XIV, come from the personal collections of the King of France but also from those of the great princes of the royal family such as the Duke of Penthièvre. European sovereigns, like Joseph I of Portugal, George III of England or Catherine II of Russia, were also the clients of the most famous Parisian gold- and silversmiths. By its scope, this publication represent an interest for collectors and antique dealers as much as for researchers and curators, especially for those of decorative arts collections. The culmination of the thirty years of research, this catalogue proposes a fresh look on the subject with its numerous, previously unpublished, discoveries on techniques, style, origins, heraldry, iconography and so on. All the notes are abundantly illustrated and provided with archival references, bibliography and the images of hallmarks; they equally include an analysis of shapes and ornaments and their historical and stylistic aspects. An appendix, index, a heraldic table and 262 gold- and silversmiths' biographies will facilitate the use of this work designed to become a lasting reference.