Pair of Lidded Tureens, Liners, and Stands

Object Details

Title:

Pair of Lidded Tureens, Liners, and Stands

Artist/Maker:

Thomas Germain (French, 1673 - 1748, master 1720)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1744 - 1750

Medium:

Silver

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This pair of large tureens with stands probably formed part of a sumptuous silver table service. Designed to hold a rich stew of meat or fish and vegetables, the lids reflect their original contents, which, according to a contemporary, "perfectly imitated nature." The small crabs, prawns, and crayfish were cast from wax molds of dead shellfish. The realism of such details appealed to patrons in the mid-1700s, some of whom were amateur scientists and collectors of natural curiosities.

The stands and liners are engraved with the arms of the British aristocrat Robert, first Lord Carrington. The arms were engraved in England late in the 1700s, effacing the heraldry of their original owner, a Portuguese archbishop. The cross of the Portuguese Order of Christ and the tassels of the archbishop's hat are still visible. They were left in place by an English silversmith who was probably unaware of their meaning.

Related Works
Exhibitions
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
Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (36)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012