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This is a page of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1000 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington, WMF, Reed & Barton, Mappin & Webb, Bateman Family), history, oddities ...


Augustin Courtauld (senior) was born in 1655 and baptized in the Protestant church at Marennes (France).
In 1677 Augustin (sr.) married Julie Giraud who bore him four children, only one of them (Augustin jr) survived infancy. After the death of his wife, Augustin sr., in order to escape the religious persecution against the Huguenots, sailed from France in c.1686 to start a new life in England.
In c. 1688 he married Esther Poitier (another French refugee) having a son in 1689 (Peter Courtauld).
In 1696 Augustin sr. took out papers of denization as an English citizen and in 1697 his young son Augustin (Augustine) joined the father and his new family in England.
Augustin jr. (or Augustine) was apprenticed in 1701 to Simon Pantin, a prominent Huguenot goldsmith active in St. Martin's Lane at the sign of the 'Peacock', obtaining his freedom in 1708.
In 1709 Augustin jr. married Anne Bardin, having eight children, of whom five survived their parents. Among them, Anne married a goldsmith John Jacob in 1738 and Samuel (1720-1765), the elder of them, destined as his father for a career as a silversmith.
The younger son of Augustin sr., Peter Courtauld, was apprenticed in 1705 to Simon Pantin, as his half-brother Augustin jr., and while still not qualified and at the early age of twenty, married in 1709 Judith Pantin, daughter of Esaie Pantin Goldsmith's at St. James's and doubtless a relation of his master Simon Pantin.
Peter obtained his freedom in 1712 but did not registered his marks until 1721 (possibly, in this long period, Peter worked as 'journeyman' for his elder brother Augustin jr). In 1723 he accepted as apprentice Thomas Bonnet of Stepney. Peter Courtauld died in 1729.
In 1708, Augustin jr., the most important goldsmith member of the family, took workrooms in Church Street, St. Martin's Lane, entering in the same year his first mark from this address.
The career of Augustin Courtauld jr. can be divided in two halves. The first, from 1708 to 1729, using the higher Britannia standard of silver. In 1729, moving to larger premises in Chandon Street, where he remained until his death, employing primarily sterling silver.
In Chandon Street he accepted three apprentices, all of Huguenot extraction, Isaac Ribouleau, Louis Ouvry and Francis David Quenouault.
Augustin Courtauld jr and his wife Anne both died within a few weeks in 1751.
His son Samuel inherited his goldsmith's patterns and tools of the trade.
Augustin jr. was the finest and most prolific of the Courtauld family of goldsmths. Although he wasn't an innovator, he produced works of a consistently high standard of design and execution, basing much of his early plate in the style of the man with which he had learnt his craft, Simon Pantin.
Towards the end of Augustin's career the new fashion of the rococo was sweeping England, and was quickly developed by the majority of the Huguenot craftsmen. Almost alone among his countrymen Augustine preferred to remain faithful to the kind of undecoreted silver on which his success had been founded.
Augustin's third son, Samuel Courtauld, became apprentice to his father in 1734, completing his apprenticeship in 1741.
Samuel Courtauld continued to work with his father as 'journeyman' until 1746. From this date he continued to work on his own account from Chandon Street, entering two marks at Goldsmith's Hall. He was received as freeman in 1747.
In 1749 Samuel Courtauld married Louise Perina Ogier. After the death of his parents (1751) Samuel removed to a new workroom and a larger house at 21 Cornhill.
In the trade card issued after the moving to new premises Samuel claims '... Make & Sells all sorts of Plate, Jewels, Watches, & All Other Curious Work in Gold & Silver...".
Samuel Courtauld died in 1753, at the age of forty-five, leaving all his worldly goods to his widow, Louisa. He was an enthusiastic exponent of the new rococo style. From the examples of his work extant, had not Samuel died at such an early age, he would emulate his father Augustin. He was equal to his father in design and quality of craftsmanship, surpassing him in originality of design and form.
In 1766, after Samuel's death, the widow Louisa Courtauld took over the management of the family business, entering her own mark in the customary diamond-shaped widow's shield.
As with Hester Bateman, is probably that Louisa Courtauld wasn't involved in the fashioning of the wrought plate bearing her mark. Rather she was concerned with running the business and dealing with the patrons who placed the commission for silver-plate.
In 1768 Louisa Courtauld took as partner George Cowes, who, in the same year, became her nephew-in-law marrying Judith Jacob, the daughter of her husband's sister, Anne.
In 1777 Cowes dissolved the partnership and Louisa took as partner her son Samuel Courtauld, aged twenty-five. Is unknown if Samuel had been never apprenticed or had received other training in silversmithing. Anyway mother and son registered their joint-mark in 1777.
The partnership between Louisa and Samuel lasted only three years, and, in 1780, 21 Cornhill was sold, lock stock and barrel to John Anderson, a fine jeweller/goldsmith.
Louisa Courtauld died at Clapton in Middlesex in 1807, while Samuel Courtauld emigrated in the United States where he died in 1821.
Thus ended the connection between the Courtauld family and silversmithing. A connection which had lasted over eighty years and several generations.

Augustin Courtauld, London 1723, mark entered 1708 Augustin Courtauld, London 1723, mark entered 1708
Augustin Courtauld, mark entered 1729 Augustin Courtauld, mark entered 1729
Augustin Courtauld, mark entered 1739 Augustin Courtauld, mark entered 1739
Samuel Courtauld, London 1748, mark entered 1746 Samuel Courtauld, London 1748, mark entered 1746
Samuel Courtauld, London 1751, mark entered 1746 Samuel Courtauld, London 1751, mark entered 1746

Louisa Courtauld, mark entered 1765 Louisa Courtauld, mark entered 1765
Louisa Courtauld & George Cowes, London 1771, mark entered 1768 Louisa Courtauld & George Cowes, London 1771, mark entered 1768
Louisa Courtauld & Samuel Courtauld, mark entered 1777 Louisa Courtauld & Samuel Courtauld, mark entered 1777

Portrait of Louisa Perina Courtauld
Portrait of Louisa Perina Courtauld

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English home page
This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...

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