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Claire Brisby

Italian family of jewellers, collectors and writers. The firm founded in Rome by (1) Fortunato Pio Castellani shortly after 1820 and expanded by his sons (2) Alessandro Castellani and (3) Augusto Castellani was foremost in reviving period style in jewellery design. Their reputation was established in Rome by the mid-19th century, and they were renowned as antiquarians as much as jewellers and were consulted by museums in London, Paris and Vienna. After 1860 the Castellani opened shops in Paris and Naples; from 1862 until 1884 they exhibited regularly at international exhibitions, including the International Exhibition of 1862 in London, and their work remained virtually unaffected by subsequent stylistic developments. Designs were closely inspired by, and in some cases reproduced, antique and medieval pieces, often from their own considerable study collection. They were widely imitated throughout England, France, Italy and the USA. Their jewellery is notable for its use of gold; the family perfected processes for simulating the techniques of filigree and granulation used in antique jewellery. A variety of chainwork and hinged pieces with repoussé decoration are characteristic of the firm. Among their most popular designs were pieces ornamented with fine glass mosaic inspired by Byzantine jewellery (e.g. bracelet with white and gold mosaic, ...

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Malcolm Gee

revised by Pamela Elizabeth Grimaud

(b Paris, Feb 19, 1853; d Paris, July 17, 1929).

French couturier, patron, collector and bibliophile (see fig.). He joined his family’s clothing business in 1875 and played a central role in its development into one of the premier haute couture houses in Paris. Refined, exacting and possessed of an unerring appreciation for beauty, Doucet was an avid patron of the arts whose taste was reflected in the fashions designed under his name. He may initially have bought art for public relations purposes; however, it became the central interest in his life, partly, it seems, because the superior exercise of taste allowed him to compensate for social disappointments. Following a vogue that was already quite widespread by 1880, he built up an outstanding collection of 18th-century French art and design, which he housed in a magnificent 18th-century style hôtel in the Rue Spontini: it included Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Le Feu aux poudres (Paris, Louvre), Jean-Siméon Chardin’s House of Cards...

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(b Keighley, W. Yorks, March 28, 1834; d Paterson, NJ, Feb 15, 1923).

American manufacturer and collector. He came to Boston in 1851 and began his career as a bookkeeper with the firm of Tilt & Dexter, manufacturers of silk goods and dress trimmings. In 1855 he became a partner and head of the New York branch. In 1858 he bought out Dexter and became head of the company known as Dexter, Lambert & Co., moving the factory from Boston to Paterson, NJ. He built a home, Belle-Vista Castle, in Paterson, which became the showplace of the city, especially for his large and diverse art collection of more than 600 paintings. He was a patron of Ralph Albert Blakelock and owned 11 of his paintings (e.g. Sunset; Trenton, NJ State Mus.). In 1899 he sold Monet’s Chrysanthemums (1882) and Renoir’s By the Seashore (1883) to Durand-Ruel’s gallery in New York: these were acquired by Henry Osborne Havemeyer (1848–1907...

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Sarah Barter Bailey

(b London, Aug 26, 1783; d Goodrich Court, Hereford & Worcs, April 2, 1848).

English lawyer, collector and historian. He practised as a barrister. In 1815 he published, with Charles Hamilton Smith (1776–1859), The Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British Islands, which brought him into contact with a group of antiquaries and collectors, including Francis Douce, Sir Walter Scott and James Robinson Planché (1796–1880), who devoted themselves to the study of the Middle Ages.

Meyrick collected and studied arms and armour all his life, but it was the publication of A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour (1824) that established his reputation as an authority on the subject. In 1826 he advised on the arrangement of the collection in the Tower of London, which he had criticized severely, and two years later he performed a similar service for the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. His own collection was regularly available to students in London (Richard Parkes Bonington and Delacroix visited in ...

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Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Metz, 1854; d 1942)

French jeweller and collector. Vever directed the family jewellery business, begun in Metz by his grandfather Pierre-Paul Vever (d 1853). After the capture of Metz in the Franco-Prussian War (1871), the family moved to Luxembourg and then Paris, where the Maison Vever became well established on the Rue de la Paix, winning the Grand Prix of the universal expositions in 1889 and 1900 and becoming a leader in the Art Nouveau movement. Vever gave an important group of Art Nouveau works to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. His early interest in contemporary French painting led him to assemble a large and important group of works by Corot, Sisley, Renoir and Monet, of which he sold the majority (Paris, Gal. Georges Petit, 1897) to concentrate on Japanese and Islamic art. Vever had begun to collect Japanese prints in the 1880s and in 1892 joined the distinguished private group ...