Museum Home Arrow Explore Art Arrow Artists
François-Thomas Germain  

b. 1726, d. 1791

Add to Getty Bookmarks

At the age of twenty-two, François-Thomas Germain, son of the famous silversmith Thomas Germain, inherited not only his father's models, his huge atelier, and his staff of nearly eighty workmen, but also his royal and aristocratic clients. He supplied the French royalty with everything from tableware, chandeliers, inkstands, and church silver to rattles for the royal infants. Germain's reputation for inventive designs and superb craftsmanship brought him orders from clients as far away as Russia and Portugal.

Germain's downfall came as a result of strict regulations of the goldsmiths' guild, which forbade members to enter into partnerships with anyone except other goldsmiths. In 1765, plagued by the perennial eighteenth-century problems of late or never-paying customers, he formed a partnership with financiers. The guild forced him to declare bankruptcy, and he was dismissed from his post as royal silversmith. At the age of thirty-nine, his brilliant career was over; he died in obscurity in 1791.

1-4 of 4

Pair of Tureens / T. Germain
Pair of Tureens

French, 1726-1729

Tray / F.-T. Germain

French, 1750-1756

Machine d'Argent / F.-T. Germain
Machine d'Argent

French, 1754

Four Wall Lights / F.-T. Germain
Four Wall Lights

French, Paris, 1756