Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot


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(b 8 June 1763; d 23 May 1850). French silversmith and cabinetmaker. He was a member of a prominent family of silversmiths active from the early 18th century. He became a master in 1785. The only surviving work by him dating from before the French Revolution (1789-95) is a coffee urn (Monticello, VA, Jefferson Found.) designed and commissioned by Thomas Jefferson. Odiot's career as a silversmith essentially began in 1802 when he was awarded a gold medal in the third Exposition de l’Industrie in Paris. He executed a travelling service (c. 1795-1809) for Napoleon (reg 1804-14) and a large table service (1798-1809; Munich, Residenz) for MaximilianI of Bavaria (1756-1825). Odiot's major work dates from c. 1809 after the bankruptcy of the silversmith Henri Auguste, whose models, tools and designs he purchased. Odiot's most complex work was a set of dressing-table furniture made for EmpressMarie Louise in 1810 (destr. 1832) and the cradle for the King of Rome (1811; Vienna, Schatzkam) made in collaboration with Pierre-Philippe Thomire to a design by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1758-1823). Odiot produced table services for Russian clients, including one for a member of the Demidov family (c. 1817; untraced), and others for the courts of Poland and Naples (c. 1819). His tableware in the Empire style includes large-scale, sculptural tureens and bowls supported by fully modelled, classical figures. The profiles and surfaces of his vessels are plain and smooth and are usually decorated with applied cast figural elements. In 1823 Odiot exhibited tableware in the Rococo Revival style after 18th-century originals. He retired in 1827, leaving the firm to his son, Charles Odiot (d 1869), who also worked in the Rococo Revival style.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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