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Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843)

Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the leading Parisian gilt metal manufacturer and gilder of the early nineteenth century. He supplied finely chased mounts to leading Parisian ébénistes for furniture, clock cases and mounts for the Sèvres porcelain factory. He was much patronised by Napoleon who made him Ciseleur de l'Empereur. His work represents some of the finest examples of the Empire style.

The Royal Collection contains key examples of Thomire's gilt bronze clock casescandelabra, and gilt bronze mounted Sèvres porcelain. Many of these objects were acquired by George IV through his intermediary Dominique Daguerre in the late 1780s, and through his pastry chef François Benois in the early nineteenth century.

In 1804 Thomire acquired the business of the marchand-mercier, Martin-Eloi Lignereux. The company employed a large workforce in a workshop at rue Boucherat and a showroom at rue Taitbout, from where Thomire retailed a large range of decorative objects inspired by antiquity including candelabra, extravagant centrepieces, clock cases and monumental Greek and Roman style urns and vases. Thomire's clock cases were particularly distinctive. Many included compositions based upon neo-classical sculptural groups or paintings such as Jacques-Louis David's The Intervention of the Sabine Women as well as Greek mythological figures like Father Time.

Thomire collaborated with three partners, renaming the business Thomire, Duterme et Cie, for a time. The business suffered as a result of France's continuing European hostilities and to avoid bankruptcy the firm was granted dispensation to trade with the Prince Regent. Soon after 1815 the partnership with Duterme was dissolved and Thomire et Cie thrived once more under the restored Bourbons.

Thomire retired in 1823 and his two sons-in-law, Louis-Auguste-César Carbonelle and André-Antoine Beauvisage, continued the business until 1852. Thomire continued to work as a sculptor, and exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1834.


Objects associated with Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843)