PAUL DE LAMERIE

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Born in 1688 in Hertongenbosch, a city and municipality in the Southern Netherlands, to Huguenot parents who had left France following the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685, the de Lamarie family (at the time spelt de la Marie) moved to England and were settled in the Parish of St James’s in Westminster by 1691.

In 1703, at the age of 15, De Lamerie was apprenticed to the well known Huguenot goldsmith Pierre Platel, and in 1712 having completed his apprenticeship, he was made free of the Goldsmiths Company, and a freeman of the City Of London. That same year, on the 5th of February, de Lamerie registered his first mark and set up his workshop on Windmill Street near Haymarket.

In 1716 de Lamerie was appointed Goldsmith to his Majesty George I, and the following year married Louisa Juliott, the daughter of a member of the Huguenot nobility, with whom he had six children, of which unfortunately only three daughters survived past their 5th year.

De Lamerie’s early work is found in the two styles popular during the early 18th century in England, creating items in both the ornate Huguenot fashion, and also the plainer unadorned style of the Queen Anne period. His work attracted commissions from some of the richest Noblemen in Europe, with his finest and most impressive work from this early period being a large wine cistern, measuring about 40 inches wide, made for the first Earl Gower in 1719, which can be seen today in the Minneapolis Museum of Art.

Around 1720, de Lamerie met William Hogarth, arguably the finest engraver of the 18th century. They began working together on some of the more important pieces de Lamerie produced, including the fine salver made for Sir Robert Walpole which is now part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection.

In 1738, and after amassing around 50 properties in London, de Lamerie moved from his Windmill Street address to a much larger premises at Gerrard street. This was a very important time in his career, and from the Gerrard street workshop was produced his most desirable rococo silverware of the 1740’s. Patrons at this time included King John V of Portugal, Peter the Great (the Czar of Russia) and his wife Catherine, the Duke of Bedford, the Count Bobrinsky, and many other members of the aristocracy from England and Europe.

Having been admitted into the Livery of the Goldsmiths Company in 1717, de Lamerie became a member of the governing body of the guild in 1731, serving as fourth warden in 1743, and second warden in 1747. His deteriorating health stopped him from ever becoming prime warden of the guild, and instead, in 1751, de Lamerie passed away at the age of 63.

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