FPS LIVING ROOM LECTURES
The French Porcelain Society continues its series of weekly online lectures with John Whitehead, who will talk about the influence of marchands-merciers in the promotion of a taste for Sèvres porcelain. We hope you can join us!
Lecture: SÈVRES AND THE MARCHANDS-MERCIERS: THE DEALERS WHO MADE THE PORCELAIN EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL
– John Whitehead
Time: Saturday, 16 May 2020, 19:00PM London, UK (BST)
Members will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to join the online lecture. If you want to join, please contact us for more details on FPSenquiries@gmail.com.
SÈVRES AND THE MARCHANDS-MERCIERS: THE DEALERS WHO MADE THE PORCELAIN EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL
We may be familiar with the beauty of French interior decoration and decorative arts, through for example the Wrightsman rooms at the Metropolitan Museum. But one major aspect of the creation of these interiors has been little researched until recently: that is, the role of the marchands-merciers, the dealers in textiles, furniture and decorative objects who supplied their royal and aristocratic clientele with a bewildering variety of objects, many of which they made up themselves from different elements to create delightfully elegant ensembles for inclusion in the most beautiful interiors of their day. Some of these dealers commissioned objects from the royal porcelain factory at Sèvres, many of which they embellished with gilt bronze mounts. Building on the seminal research of Pierre Verlet and Carolyn Sargentson, we shall examine the development of these for the first fifty years of the factory, from the middle of the 18th century until the French Revolution. What Sèvres made with quality, the merciers enhanced to create truly special works of art.
Image: Sèvres porcelain, marble and gilt bronze clock, c.1770, probably supplied by the marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier