18th-Century Decorative Arts Collection - The Courtauld Institute of Art

18th-Century Decorative Arts Collection

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18th Century Furniture and Silver

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The 18th century represents a highpoint in the history of design, with many of the period’s most famous architects also creating designs for furniture and the decorative arts. The Courtauld Gallery cares for a small but important group of decorative arts objects and furnishings designed by the architect Sir William Chambers. The 18th century silver collection is kindly loaned to the Gallery by AkzoNobel. It is unique in being designed and made by three generations of the Courtauld family. The Courtaulds were French protestants (Huguenots) who fled persecution in France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in the late 17th century. They settled in London, and became prominent members of London’s flourishing Huguenot community of craftsmen and artists. The collection is strong in silverware for the home, and especially used in serving, presenting and storing the new hot drinks of tea, coffee and chocolate.

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