Pierre-Philippe Thomire

Pierre-Philippe Thomire, born in Paris on 6 December 1751 and died in the same city on 9 June 1843, was a French sculptor and bronzier, who became the most prominent producer of ornamental patinated and mercury gilded bronze objects and furniture mounts. He is recognized for his production of bronze furniture under the Ancien Régime and subsequently raised this profession under the Empire to its highest level of quality. Although trained as a sculptor from 1765 at the Académie de Saint-Luc under the direction of Augustin Pajou and Jean-Antoine Houdon, Thomire decided to follow his father into the profession of bronze caster. He received his training in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière, the outstanding Parisian ciseleur-doreur working in the Louis XVI style, before establishing his own shop in 1776.

On 12 November 1804 Thomire acquired the business of the marchand-mercier, Martin-Eloi Lignereux for 15,000 francs. Thomire then joined forces with his two sons-in-law Beauvisage and Carbonelle, as well as with Duterme. The prestigious address, at 41 rue Taitbout, became their showroom, while they kept the workshop at 7 rue Boucherat in the Marais district. From there Thomire retailed a large range of decorative objects inspired by antiquity including candelabra, extravagant centrepieces, clock cases and monumental Greek and Roman style urns and vases. Under the company name Thomire, Duterme et Cie they became the largest suppliers of gilded bronze, employing up to seven hundred workers.

Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the greatest craftsman of his age to work in gilt bronze. He was patronised by Louis XVI, Napoleon and Louis XVIII as well as foreign monarchy and aristocracy. Thomire’s fame and notoriety was then propelled to even greater heights after the Revolution when in 1806 he became the first bronzier to be awarded a gold medal at the Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie. In 1809 he won another gold medal and was also appointed ciseleur de l’Empereur. In addition to Napoleon himself, Thomire was patronised by the Emperor’s family and many foreign royal courts. Because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became fournisseur de leurs majestés (Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties) two years later. His work represents some of the finest examples of the Empire design.

Thomire retired from his firm in 1823.

Discover the Empire mantel clocks , Empire candelabra and candlesticks and other decorative art objects by Pierre-Philippe Thomire and other artists in our gallery.