Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important bronze caster of the late eighteenth century. A successful entrepreneur and a sculptor by training, Thomire managed to remain successful even during the Revolution. He became ciseleur (Engraver) to the Emperor Napoleon in 1809 and yet was able to retain his privileged position even after the Restoration.
After working with another great founder, Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813), Thomire established his own workshop in 1775. In 1783, at the death of Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis (1730–1783), artistic director of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory at Sèvres, whom he had been previously assisting, Thomire became the exclusive supplier of all gilt-bronze mounts for the Manufacture.
He also produced endless casts and reductions of famous models by contemporary artists – particularly of portraits by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741–1828) – which from 1804 he was able to sell directly to private collectors operating as a marchand mercier.