An important French silver-gilt soup tureen and cover, by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot,  1789 - 1809
Lot 78
An important French silver-gilt two-handled soup tureen and cover on stand, from the Borghese suite by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot, Paris 1798-1809
£40,000 - 45,000
US$ 67,000 - 76,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
An important French silver-gilt two-handled soup tureen and cover on stand, from the Borghese suite
by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot, Paris 1798-1809
The tureen of oval form with flaring acanthus border, banded leaf-capped reeded handles, the detachable liner with shell handles, the body applied with twin cast motifs depicting stylised crossed torcheres between a central bacchanalian mask above a central bay leaf band, all raised on a flaring oval base with overhanging beaded and lobed girdle, the slightly domed cover with bead border and applied with a cast figure of a Bacchanalian follower, the oval stand applied at each end with the Borghese Arms between classical female masks within husked borders, the sides applied with flower heads flanked by scrolling anthemions between ovolo borders, all raised on four scrolling lion paw feet, height 38cm, length 38cm, weight total 241oz.


  • Jean Baptiste-Claude Odiot (1763-1850) was received as a maître in 1785 after succeeding his father in the business. The firms reputation steadily grew and came to particular prominence following the Exposition de l'industrie held in Paris in 1802 where he was jointly awarded the gold medal with the celebrated silversmith Henry Auguste. Following Auguste's bankruptcy, Odiot purchased many of his models and designs soon replacing him as one of Emperor Napoleon's court silversmiths and confirming the company's rapid progress during his tenure.

    His work was characterised by strong Neoclassical forms incorporating cast figural elements attached with the use of bolts and rivets rather than the more conventional solder as well as his greater use of burnished surfaces. This style led to a huge influx of private commissions coming not only from the French Emperor but as far as the Russian Imperial court. This tureen is one such example.

    The magnificent Borghese service, comprising some 500 silver-gilt objects was primarily made by Odiot's great contemporary Martin-Guillaume Biennais (1764-1843) and with over 1,000 other pieces by various makers, it was thought to have been a wedding gift from Napoleon to his second sister Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) following her marriage to Camillo Borghese in 1803. Camillo, born in Rome, was the son of the pro-Napoleon Marcantanio IV and brother of Francesco, Prince Aldobrandini, entered French service in 1796. Upon his marriage to Pauline he became a prince of France in 1804, a troop commander in the Imperial Guard in 1805 and Commander of the 27th and 28th Division of the French army in 1809. Despite a floundering marriage, Pauline convinced her brother to give Camillo the governorship of Piedmont in 1808 and guardianship of Napoleon's prisoner Pope Pius VII soon after. After her death from cancer in 1825 and Napoleons fall from power, Camillo moved back to Florence in exile where he continued in secret and futile Bonapartist plots until his own death in 1832.

    This tureen is considered one of the latter editions to the Borghese service though pre-dating pieces made by Roman and Florentine silversmiths copying Biennais's designs during the 1820's.
  1. Loraine Turner
    Specialist - Silver
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3836
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3875
  2. Michael Moorcroft
    Specialist - Silver
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3835
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3875