Étains, maîtres potiers d’étain Paris 1643-1791
Philippe Boucaud and Michel Schonn
In the field of art, the publication of books is closely linked to the calendar of major exhibitions and other ‘anniversaries’. One can only rejoice when a scholarly work, the result of years of work in sectors that are not the focus of the media, manage to wind their way to the table of a book store. This is a perfect example. It can put-off any non-initiated mortal. But in fact this catalogue of the pewter pottery masters is in fact a fascinating plunge into micro-history. The legislation of the profession, the various types of punches, the rigorous regulation called the jurande, the catalogue of the most used objects (from a pitcher to the mustard bowl including the clyster that was used for intestinal washings as well as to baptise in utero unviable children) tell us so much about the Parisian society in the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries. The city’s official list in 1773 tells that the oldest artist, Charles Lausmonier, had his masters since 1707! The impressive census -190 pages- of the pottery master allows us to learn more. We learn that the named Lausmonier died on 29 July 1775, at age 88, at his son’s house, an apothecary on rue Aubry-le-Boucher, and that his modest belongings did not even allow him to pay for his burial. Pewter does not turn into gold.
Review published in the newsletter #332 - from 6 February 2014 to 12 February 2014