Pierre Gouthiere

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Pierre Gouthière (1740, Bar-sur-Aube – 1806), French metal worker, was born at Bar-sur-Aube and went to Paris at an early age as the pupil of Martin Cour.

During his brilliant career he executed a vast quantity of metal work of the utmost variety, the best of which was unsurpassed by any of his rivals in that great art period. It was long believed that he received many commissions for furniture from the court of Louis XVI, and especially from Marie Antoinette, but recent searches suggest that his work for the queen was confined to bronzes. Gouthière can, however, well bear this loss, nor will his reputation suffer should those critics ultimately be justified who believe that many of the furniture mounts attributed to him were from the hand of Thomire. But if he did not work for the court he unquestionably produced many of the most splendid belongings of the duc d'Aumont, the duchesse de Mazarin and Madame du Barry. Indeed the custom of the beautiful mistress of Louis XV brought about the financial ruin of the great artist, who accomplished more than any other man for the fame of her château of Louveciennes.

When the collection of the duc d'Aumont was sold by auction in Paris in 1782 so many objects niounted by Gouthière were bought for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette that it is not difficult to perceive the basis of the belief that they were actually made for the court. The duc's sale catalogue is, however, in existence, with the names of the purchasers and the prices...
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