The Wallace Collection

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Jean-Louis Leferre (active between: 1803-1822)
Biography
Works of Art

There are two goldsmiths of the same name who appear sometimes to have been confused. Jean-Louis Lefèvre (the spelling seems to have been variable) worked as a goldsmith between 8 August 1781 and until his mention in the Paris general directory of January 1791, in which he is described as ‘ancien orfèvre’. His device was a rose. For convenience, he is referred to here as Jean-Louis I. Douet mentions a Jean-Louis Lefevre at 290 rue St Martin. Azur give his same house after re-numbering. However, if Jean-Louis I had already returned by 1791 it is unlikely that Douet and Azur were referring to him but rather to the post-Revolutionary Jean-Louis Leferre (called here Jean-Louis II). He struck his maker’s mark, JL with a head of Mercury above and a bird below, in 1803 and was described at the time as making “garnitures des tabatières, tablettes, le double”. He gave up his mark in 1822, at which date it must be presumed that he had died. On 19 September of that year his widow, Catherine-Adelaide Duponnois, ‘veuve’ Leferre, registered her mark as a goldsmith, DL, but with the same devices, and from the same address. It would seem likely that A.-J.-M. Leferre (q.v.) was Jean-Louis II’s son. Like his son, J.-L. Leferre was the brother of A.-J.-M. Leferre, which, he considered, would explain the signature on some boxes ‘Leferre Frères Bijoutiers à Paris’, or a variation. However, this seems unlikely.