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Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot (1763-1850)
While the Maison Odiot can trace its origins back to 1690, it was not until Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot, the grandson of the founder Jean-Baptiste-Gaspard Odiot that the firm came to prominence. Born in 1763 and becoming a master in 1785, Odiot succeeded his father in the business, steadily building the firm's reputation, coming to a particular notice following the Exposition de l'industrie held in Paris in 1802. Following the bankruptcy, in 1809, of the celebrated neoclassical silversmith Henry Auguste, who at the time was the silversmith to Emperor Napoleon, Odiot was able to purchase many of his models and designs. Odiot, along with Martin-Guillaume Biennais, soon replaced Auguste as the Napoleon's silversmiths ensuring the success of both firms.
Odiot provided silver not only for the French court, such as a service made for Napoleon's mother, styled 'Madame Mére', (Christie's London, 19 October 2005, lot 134), but also across Europe and beyond. The Russian's Imperial court's love affair with French silver, most famously realised in the service made in 1770 for Catherine the Great from the Parisian silversmith Jacques Roettiers and his son Jacques-Nicolas and subsequently presented to her lover Count Gregory Orloff (Christie's New York, 19 April 2002, lot 74) continued with commissions from the Russian court to Odiot. Among these important commissions were a massive service for Countess Branicki and Count Nikolai Demidoff.
Odiot's work during this period is characterised by strong neoclassical forms, ornamented with cast figural elements, attached not by the traditional soldering but with the use of bolts and rivets, a method he inherited from his collaboration with the bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843). Having survived the French Empire as well as the Bourbon monarchy, Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot retired in 1823 passing the business to his son Charles-Nicolas.