Pierre-Philippe Thomire

Dates1751 - 1843, master 1772
RolesArtist, Maker, Designer

Although trained as a sculptor, Pierre-Philippe Thomire decided to follow his father into the potentially more lucrative profession of bronze caster, becoming the most important one of the late 1700s. Before setting up his own establishment in 1775, Thomire trained in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière.

Thomire's big break came when he began assisting Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, the artistic director of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, in making mounts. When Duplessis died in 1783, Thomire took over his job, supplying all the gilt bronze mounts for the porcelain. This work kept him in business throughout the French Revolution, when many other producers went bankrupt. In 1804 he bought the business of a marchand-mercier, thus allowing him to sell furniture, Sèvres porcelain, and decorative objects, which he produced in his own workshops. In 1809 the Emperor Napoleon made him ciseleur de l'empereur (Engraver to the Emperor); because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became fournisseur de leurs majestés (Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties) two years later.

Thomire's business managed to survive even after Napoleon's downfall, winning numerous medals at various exhibitions. He finally retired at the age of seventy-two but continued to work as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Salon until he was in his eighties.

Related Works