ARTIST / MAKER: Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot (maker)
DATE: 1809-1819 (made)
PLACE: France (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt with wooden handle

At the beginning of the 19th century, the firm of Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot was one of the most important and influential silversmithing companies in France. A skilful practitioner of the neoclassical style, Odiot received many commissions from French aristocracy, including the Emperor Napoléon. Following the bankruptcy of the celebrated neoclassical silversmith Henry Auguste, Odiot was able to purchase many of his models and designs and he, along with Martin-Guillaume Biennais, soon replaced Auguste as silversmiths to Napoléon during the French Empire period. Odiot was subsequently appointed chief orfèvre under Louis XVIII.

Odiot specialised in producing pieces in the ‘Neoclassical’ or ‘Empire’ style, which was considered reflective of the Napoleonic dynasty, idealising antiquity and incorporating heavy ornamentation and design. The lion spout, bands of laurel wreath decoration, and acanthus leaves at the handle ends were recurring motifs in Odiot’s work and characterised his elegant Empire style.