Two French Silver Gilt Empire Coffeepots
The two French, silver-gilt Empire coffeepots have a very similar décor: a vase-shaped body, supported by a high, round, bell-shaped foot. This is decorated on the basis with a lamb-tongue’s frieze and on the upper part with an elegant frieze of twisted lines. The smooth wall is decorated on its upper part with a band of laurel leaf, the neck of the jug with a pearl ribbon border, above four laurel wreaths. Moreover, the wall is decorated with a relief-applied depiction of a woman dressed in a long stole, her hair raised and holding two birds in her hands. Curved spout with mythical beast head and on the larger pot with acanthus-leaves. The flat hinged lid crowned by a knob buds. The ebonized wood handle sits in leaf and palmettes decorated spout.
The second, smaller pot differs from the first mainly in its format – a bit smaller – and the main decor of the smooth wall. This one is adorned with a relief-applied Amor who is riding on a lion and is playing the lyra and on the other side with a child Bacchus on a panther.
This motif appears in many, earlier drawings from the workshop of the maker. The musée des arts décoratifs in Paris has acquired in 2009 a collection of drawings from the workshop of Odiot, which is also available online. In this fonds, there are a series of drawings with these motifs. A drawing from ca 1815 (musée des arts décoratifs, inv. 2009.174.19) shows the exact same Putto on a teapot. Whereby such motifs appear in drawings attributed to Auguste Garneray (1785-1824) from the period 1810-15 (compare the drawing of a bowl in musée des arts décoratifs, inv. 2009.174.46). for a further comparison of a work coming from the same period, s. a teapot in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Finally, for a drawing from the Odiot-Workshop, which has a similar form of the pot and spout decoration, s. in the musée des arts décoratifs, inv. 2009.174.27.
The smaller pot is decorated underneath the spout with a very elaborate, applied coat of arms of Baden. It was for a long time in a Suisse collection and originally comes from the family collections of the Margraviate of Baden.
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot was born in 1763 and became a master craftsman in 1785. Shortly after 1823, he withdrew from the business and gave the large series of his bronze models to the state (now in the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris). In 1827, he hands over the business to his son Charles and died in 1850.
J.B.C. Odiot was active for Napoleon I and the Russian and Austrian courts, as well as for prominent British military. Together with Martin-Guillaume Biennais, he made the large dinner service for King Max I Joseph of Bavaria (now in the Munich Residence). Besides, Odiot and Biennais were the preferred master goldsmiths of Napoleon I and the imperial family. For a spectacular portrait of the maker made in 1822 by Robert Jacques François Lefèvre, see in the collections of the des Detroit Institute of Arts.