The Wallace Collection

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Jean Georges (+1765)
Works of Art

J. George became master in 1747 following a royal declaration in favour of the poor of the guild. He struck his mark, sponsored by Marcel-François Desfèves, in 1752, when he was living in the place Dauphine in Paris. His house appears to have had access to the quai des Orfèvres since he is also listed there at the same time. His shop was at the sign of the Observatory, the symbol on his mark (différent) being a star. The various advertisements he issued announcing losses gives a very good idea of what he sold. In 1755, he had lost a gold cane handle, in 1758 a snuffbox de chasse, all six sides engraved “en soleil, portent un bouquet de fleurs d'ors de couleurs”, and in 1762 a watch chain with an agate seal, an oval varicoloured gold box chased with “amusements flamands” with the name George engraved on “the cover”, and “Georgette montée on or”, which had been lost in a cab. The following year, he appears to have lost a box engraved “à fond rayonné”with a coloured gold sunflower on the cover and with the remaining panels with bouquets of flowers and the name George engraved on the bezel. In 1764, he reported the loss of a “boîte d'or en baignoire, pour homme, à panneaux d'or vert, tournée en écailles et satinée” and only a couple of weeks later a gold snuffbox described as “ovale, en baignoire, pour homme, à cerceaux et roettes d'ors de couleurs”. By 1762 George had the seventh largest turnover of any member of the guild, the same as François-Thomas Germain. Following his death in 1765 there were four sales of his property and some of stock, which revealed a fairly comfortable lifestyle. His possessions included a carriage with silver-mounted harness, a silver-mounted souble-barrelled gun, neither of which were unusual, and a gold coffee mill, which was. In the same year his widow, Jeanne-Françoise Texier, advertised that she was continuing in business with her late husband's only pupil, Pierre-François-Mathis de Beaulieu (q.v.). The firm continued under the names Mme George, Veuve George beaulieu appears along. Veuve George died in 1786.
Jean George is credited with inventing boxes known as Georgettes. it is clear from the advertisement of the 1762 cited above that these were not wholly of gold. Several tortoiseshell snuffboxes of the early eighteenth century are engraved with the name George and it is the current view that Jean George re-used earlier, and smaller, tortoiseshell boxes mounted in gold, on which he signed his name and which he retailed as 'georgettes'