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David Willaume

(c. 1658—1740) goldsmith


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(b Metz, 7 June 1658; dc. 1740). English goldsmith of French origin. The son of a goldsmith, Adam Willaume, he arrived in London from France c. 1685 and became a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company by 1694. His first known mark was registered in 1697, but it is likely that he had been manufacturing articles for several years. He became one of the most successful Huguenot goldsmiths. By 1698 he had made a pair of single bottle wine-coolers (Chatsworth, Derbys) for William Cavendish, 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Devonshire. This is the earliest known pair of English wine-coolers, and they illustrate French influence. Willaume's output was prolific, and his patrons included many of the nobility. Although he never achieved the office of Royal Goldsmith, a number of pieces made by him during the reigns of Queen Anne and George I are engraved with the royal arms, for example a large ewer and basin (1705) supplied to Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Earl of Strafford, on his appointment as ambassador to Berlin. Willaume's business, which included a banking department, was highly profitable, and in 1728 he retired to his newly acquired estate at Tingrith, Beds. His son David Willaume II (1692-1761) then registered his first mark and took control of his father's business. David Willaume's daughter Anne (1691-1733) married the Huguenot goldsmith David Tanqueray.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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