The J. Paul Getty Museum

Pair of Tureens, Liners, and Stands

Object Details


Pair of Tureens, Liners, and Stands


Thomas Germain (French, 1673 - 1748, master 1720)
arms added by François-Thomas Germain (French, 1726 - 1791)




Paris, France (Place Created)





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Object Description

These large tureens were designed to serve oille, a rich stew of meat such as rabbit, venison, or boar; vegetables; and a mixture of aromatic herbs. Here the boar's head and legs reflect the tureens' usual contents. Seventy years after they were made, these tureens were still listed in an inventory with their elaborate lids, now lost, which were ornamented with artichokes, cauliflowers, birds, shells, and shrimp.

A pen and ink drawing for silver pieces, attributed to Thomas Germain, shows a preliminary sketch for a similar, lidded tureen. Very similar tureens, without lids and filled with fruit, appear in a painting by Alexandre-François Desportes, dated 1733.

The 1700s brought important changes in the way in which people dined. Dinner changed from being a stiffly formal occasion into a convivial meeting where the art of conversation reigned supreme. Silver objects like tureens, oil and vinegar frames, sauceboats, and large matching services of plates and dishes appeared on the table, enabling diners to help themselves rather than be served individually by servants. The tureen first appeared at the end of the 1600s, but it was not until the 1720s that its use became more widespread.

? 1729 - 1753

Possibly Samuel-Jacques Bernard, Comte de Coubert, French, 1686 - 1753 (in the salle à manger of his hôtel, 46 rue du Bac, Paris, France)
Source: Listed in his posthumous inventory as "two large terrines carried by wild boars, lids [with] different animals and fruits, two large oval dishes." Archives Nationales, Minutier central LXXXVIII, 629, 13 Aug 1753. Info Michèle Bimbenet-Privat


François-Thomas Germain, French, 1726 - 1791, when the Melo e Castro coats of arms were applied.

1764 - 1795

Martinho de Melo e Castro, Portuguese, 1716 - 1795, Secretary of State to King José I (reigned 1750-1777) and subsequently to Queen Maria I (reigned 1777-1816), Portuguese representative at the peace negotitations to end the Seven Years War held in Paris 1763 (residing 1762-1763 at the Hôtel Bernard, 46 rue du Bac); by inheritance within the Melo e Castro de Vilhena family.
Source: Listed in his posthumous inventory 14 Sept 1796, their lids with artichokes, cauliflowers, birds, crustaceans, and shrimp (these lids were probably lost at the beginning of the nineteenth century). Info Exposição de Arte Francesa exh cat (Lisbon 1934): 82

1795 - after 1955

Melo e Castro de Vilhena [Galveias] Family (Portugal; Paris, France), by inheritance within the family.


Private Collection , Portugal [sold, Christie's, Geneva, November 11, 1975, no. 230 to Jean Rossignol]

1975 - 1982

Jean Rossignol (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982

Exposition d'orfèvrerie française civile du XVIe siècle au début du XIXe (April 12 to May 12, 1926)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), April 12 to May 12, 1926
Exposição de Arte Francesa, Especialmente de Ourivesaria do Século XVIII (May to June 1934)
  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (Lisbon), May to June 1934
Les trésors de l'orfèvrerie du Portugal (November 1954 to January 1955)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), November 1954 to January 1955
Casting Nature: François-Thomas Germain's Machine d'Argent (July 11, 2006 to March 25, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 11, 2006 to March 25, 2007
Wild Boars and Peaches: A reunion of two French 18th-century artists. The J. Paul Getty Museum & Nationalmuseum (April 1, 2007 to January 6, 2008)
  • Nationalmuseum (Stockholm), April 1, 2007 to January 6, 2008

Exposition d'orfèvrerie française civile du XVIe siècle au début du XIXe: 12 avril 1926-12 mai 1926, Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan exh. cat. (Paris: Le Musée, 1926), p. 18, possibly no. 92.

Exposição de Arte Francesa, Especialmente de Ourivesaria do Século XVIII exh. cat. (Lisbon: Museu Nacional de Arte Antigua, 1934), nos. 230-231, pp. 64-65, 80-83, pl. 75 (lent by Sr.a D. Thereza Lobo de Almeida de Melo e Castro de Vilhena).

Les trésors de l’orfèvrerie du Portugal, exh. cat. (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1954), pp. 90-91, no. 453 (lent by Mme T. de Melo de Castro de Vilhena (Galveias), Lisbon).

Alcouffe, Daniel. Louis XV: Un moment de perfection de l'art français, exh. cat. (Paris: Hôtel de la Monnaie, 1974), p. 358, no. 484.

Wavrin, Isabelle de. "Les Germains, dynastie d'orfevres." L'Estampille (January 1976), pp. 58-63, ill. p. 58.

Milnes-Gaskell, Thomas. "Thomas Germain." Christie's Review of the Season (London and New York: Hutchinson in association St. Martin's Press, 1976), pp. 220-225, ill. p. 222.

Wilson, Gillian. "Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1982." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), no. 3 "Pair of Tureens and Stands," pp. 24-28.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 66-67, no. 148.

Jackson-Stops, Gervase. "Boulle by the Beach: Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum." Country Life 179, no. 4624 (April 3, 1986), p. 856, fig. 5.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 157.

An Exhibition of Ornamental Drawings 1520-1920, exh. cat. (New York: Armin B. Allen, inc., with Hobhouse Ltd., 1987), no. 53, ill.

French Silver in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 2, 7-8, ill. p. 7, fig. 4.

Pons, Bruno. "Hôtel Jacques-Samuel Bernard." In Le Faubourg Saint-Germain: La Rue du Bac. Bruno Pons and Anne Forray-Carlier, eds. (Paris: Délégation à l'action artistique de la ville de Paris, 1990), pp. 126-53, especially pp. 132, 136, 152 note 23, and 153 note 50.

D'Orey, Leonor. The Silver Service of the Portuguese Crown (Lisbon: Edições Inapa, 1991), pp. 24-25, ill.

Perrin, Christiane. François Thomas Germain: orfèvre des rois (Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau: Éditions d'Art Monelle Hayot, 1993), pp. 96-97 and 275 note 69, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 94-95, no. 192.

Baillio, Joseph, et al., eds. The Arts of France from François Ier to Napoléon Ier: A Centennial Celebration of Wildenstein's Presence in New York, exh. cat. (New York: Wildenstein and Company, 2005), pp. 177 and 178 note 2.

Fuhring, Peter. Designing the Décor: French Drawings from the Eighteenth Century (Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2005), pp. 102-103 and p. 327, cat. no. 27 note 3; pp. 132-133 and p. 327, cat. no. 40 note 3.

Ahlund, Mikael, and Lisa Skogh. "Wild Boars and Peaches. A Reunion of Two French 18th-Century Artists." Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm 14 (2007), pp. 73-74, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), p. 373, app. no. 18.

Bremer-David, Charissa. "Of Cauliflower and Crayfish: Serving Vessels to Awaken the Palate." In The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals. Marcia Reed, ed. (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2015), pp. 124-147, ill. p. 130, fig. 8.