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French Silver Jug - Boucheron

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    Posted 10 years ago

    (4 items)

    This Silver Jug has been in my family for several generations. The piece bears the mark of sliversmith Boucheron. I believe it is a presentation piece. The inscription on the spout is written in French and bears the royal emblem of King Louis XVI. The pesentation dates 1743 given to Le Counte de Charollois. This piece was passed down to me from my grandfather, Jules H. Venon, who was a French merchant living in New York City and importing French and Swedish china to the US. That is about all that I know of the piece and would welcome any additional information anyone knows of the period.

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    1., 10 years ago

      Italian family of gold- and silversmiths. Andrea Boucheron (b Turin, c. 1692; d Turin, 1761) was apprenticed in Paris to Thomas Germain. He was called back to Turin by Victor-Amadeus II of Savoy (reg 1720-30), where he opened two workshops and became goldsmith to the court of Charles Emanuel III (reg 1730-73) in 1737. Almost all of his works have been lost; all that remains is the bronze and silver tabernacle of the Sacro Pilone in the church at Vicoforte near Mondov?, produced between 1750 and 1752 in collaboration with Fran?ois Ladatte. Andrea's son Giovan Battista Boucheron (b Turin, 1742; d Turin, 1815), after being taught by his father, went to Rome in 1760. There he completed his training by studying sculpture in the Collini brothers' workshop. He was active in Paris and Rome and from 1763 succeeded his father as court goldsmith. In 1776 he became director of the royal goldsmiths' workshop. His drawings (Turin, Mus. Civ. A. Ant.) and his theoretical writings on his craft

      Read more:
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Can I suggest you re categorise this jug?
      Sterling Silver / Antique French Sterling Silver.

      Thank you for sharing this piece of silver with us all here on CW!

      First of all, how tall is the jug?
      Could you also give its diameter?

      I suppose we can't believe everything we read but I am agog at what I have seen here!
      Can I check the inscription first?

      Have I got it all?

      Can I fill in a few details?
      In English: "A prize from His Serene Highness the Count Charolais presented at Écouen on May 1, 1743."
      More than a prize this is a real surprise!

      The S-A-S is an abbreviation of the French terms: "Son Altesse sérénissime". This is an honorific phrase used before the title of certain royal families in Europe (still used today eg. Liechtenstein and Monaco).

      MONSEIGNEUR - LE - COMPTE - DE - CHAROLLOIS was the title of the Charles de Bourbon, comte de Charolais, pair de France (1700–1760).

      Note here too that the spelling is slightly different to what is used today: CHAROLLOIS became Charolais.

      Even the expression "Monsieur le Comte" has import:
      This address was used by the head of the most junior branch of the House of Bourbon, the comte de Soissons. The comtes de Soissons, like the Princes of Conti, descended from the Princes of Condé. The line started in 1566 when the Soissons title was given to Charles de Bourbon, the second son of Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, the first Prince of Condé.

      So who was Charles de Bourbon, comte de Charolais?

      Charles de Bourbon came from royal stock. He was the second son of Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé.

      But he was also "pair de France" and was one of the court of Louis XV (with others like Conti & d’Eu, les comtes de Clermont & de Belle-Isle and le duc de Richelieu).

      If you read about him at this address,_Count_of_Charolais
      there is mention of him being "Debauched, violent, wrathful, sadistic, bloodthirsty and occasionally murderous, barely within the bounds of sanity, and incredibly arrogant, not least on account of his rank, which gave him gross impunity as a royal prince, Charles of Bourbon, Count of Charolais, never ceased to appear in the news of his time."

      " ..... police reports about Charles de Bourbon were long kept secret. These relate, among other appalling depravities, Charles' kidnap and detainment of women and girls for use in sadistic orgies he arranged with other debauchees. Some historians have seen in him an inspiration for certain characters in the novels of the Marquis de Sade."

      Your jug was presented by this historical figure to someone as a prize on May 1. 1743. The mind boggles as to what it was presented for? The jug also tells us a little more however: ESCOUEN.
      I take this to be "Écouen". In older French you will see an "É" written as "ES". ESCOUEN is today a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 18.4 km (11.4 miles) from the center of Paris.
      But I also think that it may well mean Château d'Écouen, the traditional home of the Montmorency family, but in 1745 it was the Paris home of Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé, the seven year old nephew of Charles de Bourbon, comte de Charolais. The young Prince's guardian was indeed his uncle:Charles de Bourbon.
      One can only wonder what SAS le comte de Charolais was doing in his young nephew's home on May 1 1743?

      I've seen that on that earlier that day there was a meeting of the Council of State as recorded in : "An account of the numbers of men able to bear arms in the provinces and towns of France, taken by the King's orders in 1743 : and also of the King of France's revenue and expences in the year 1741 and 1742 ... in which may be seen the amount of each article of the publick expence, and the produce of each particular tax laid on that nation : to which is added an account of the military forces of France for both land and sea service, as settled by the Council of State on May 1, 1743."

      Perhaps the Count retired to the family home after the Council of State Meeting and got involved in a drinking competition, another night of debauchery and this jug was presented to an outstanding individual that night!

      Who might have been present? Madame de Pompadour was not yet on the scene, but Henriette de Bourbon and her half sister Marie Anne de Mailly-Nesle, duchesse de Châteauroux and her sisters might well have been invited. All of these women had close ties to the King!

      The shape of the Prix - a jug / keg suggests plenty!

      As to the Coat of Arms?
      In 1743 the King of France was Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774) the Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1 September 1715 until his death.
      Note that Louis XV was a Bourbon, as was Charles de Bourbon, comte de Charolais. I am not sure about this but I believe the coat of arms are not those of the King. but of the Bourbon comte de Charolais. Perhaps someone can help with the identity of the coat of arms. I think the crown above the arms is not the Royal Crown of France. It's a bit plain (and the Kingdom of Navarre is not there either).

    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Is it possible to have a photo of the "Boucheron" mark?
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      The plot thickens!
      Andrea Boucheron (1692 - 1761) as noted by
      But..... the Boucheron firm we know today is a nineteenth century firm.
      The inscription suggests a date of 1743.

      I have found a similar jug to yours, but without the inscription.
      It too is Boucheron.
      It sold at Christies in 2007 for a substantial price.

      A FRENCH SILVER JUG ?MARK OF BOUCHERON, PARIS, CIRCA 1890 ?Barrel shaped, the body engraved and applied with bands and staves to resemble a barrel, with scroll handle, marked underneath and with a decharge mark on handle and spout?7½ in. (19 cm.) high ?27 oz. (840 gr.)

      Sale 7381
      From the Collection of King George I of the Hellenes
      24 - 25 January 2007
      London, King Street
    5. Pop_abides Pop_abides, 10 years ago
      WOW, such a nice piece and very thoughtful narrative, Truly believe that this is a 'special' piece......Thank You for sharing, and to vetraio50 and nascaronmain for information..... this is how it should work....
    6. venon, 10 years ago
      Sorry it has taken so long to comment on the incredible information provided. Thank you Nascaronmain and vetraio50 for the historical background on this piece. I think you both are incredibly brilliant. I had read the Wikipedia information on Charolais and was really hoping it was not the same person as Charollois. What a despicable character. Based on your description, it is bothersome to think of why the jug may have been presented on May 1, 1743. For me, it has lost some of its luster! What if it has cosmic remembrance!

      As always, with new information comes many more questions. For example, I wonder who really did receive the prize. Where are the descendants now? Was my family related to any of these individuals? How did my grandfather come in possession of this piece? I don't imagine I will ever know these things, but if it were possible, it would most likely be found right here in this conversation. Magnificent.

      Because of the date stamp, was this the work of the earlier Andrea Boucheron or one of his descendants? I will try and post a picture of the Boucheron mark as requested. Also, I tried to reclassify, but not see the category requested.
    7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 10 years ago
      this might come as a relief or even worse - depending on your personal feelings about your ancestors. paris, along w/ many big, european cities were benefiting from wealthy american tourists throughout the latter part of the 1800s - taking the 'grand tour'. your grandfather was a businessman whose business took him through some of those cities regularly - and he was studying design, porcelain, glass, maybe silver, maybe antiques, predicting fashions was his business, and it was not uncommon for antique stores to 'sell' a royal connection, along w/ an expensive silver reproduction, or possibly the real deal [for even more $$]. it may even have been a simple business decision - the ONLY french who were invited to society events in nyc were either Huguenots or had direct [and maybe fictitious] links to royalty. your grandfather may have toyed w/ the idea in order to promote his business. or maybe not. i think that an ancestral royal connection was much more la mode in ny, than france - by the late 1800s. wealthy ny families emulated england more - where queen victoria and fashion were synonymous.

      i'm being inventive here, but i think that there is some truth to it and it is a real possibility. [i hope i didn't really step in it here and offend anyone w/my wild speculation]
    8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Hi Hems! Thanks for the kind words. Languages are my forte! I'm always looking for objects that you can learn from.
    9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 9 years ago
      Season's Greetings to you and Yours, venon!
    10. venon, 9 years ago
      Thank you vetraio50! You are one of my favorite people in the world. I am in awe of your knowledge and intellect. Peace to you and your family as well. Natalie.
    11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 9 years ago
      Ciao, Natalie!
      This is one of my favourite CW items of all time!

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