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Past Exhibition

Preparatory Drawing for the Engraving, Representing a Ewer from the Duke of Aumont’s Collections

sketch of blue pitcher with woman figure as handle

Preparatory Drawing for the Engraving, Representing a Ewer from the Duke of Aumont’s Collections, 1782
Pierre-Adrien Pâris (1745–1819)
Pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper
In Catalogue des effets precieux qui composent le Cabinet de feu M. le duc d’Aumont. Par P. F. Julliot fils et A. J. Paillet (December 12−21, 1782)
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris


Written by Philippe-François Julliot, a well-known merchant of luxury goods, and the painter Alexandre-Joseph Paillet, the catalogue for the estate sale of the collections of the Duke of Aumont included thirty engraved plates. The preparatory drawings for these engravings were made by the architect Pierre-Adrien Pâris, who had worked for the duke in the 1770s, decorating his hôtel particulier on Place Louis XV in Paris. Upon Aumont’s death, Pâris was summoned to appraise the unfinished gilt bronzes still on Gouthière’s premises.

drawing representing blue urn with two goat heads on either sidePâris made two additional drawings that were not engraved (including the one above and the one reproduced at right) that illustrate now lost objects by Gouthière. This watercolor represents one of a pair of celadon porcelain ewers, with gilt-bronze mounts by Gouthière, that were sold at the duke’s sale to an individual named “Abraham.” They were auctioned again two years later.

The illustration (right) represents an urn (from a pair) said to be in “lapis-colored old porcelain from China” and ornamented with a gilt-bronze mount by Gouthière. The catalogue states that they are “as precious for the perfection of their form and their color as they are for the ingenious taste of their ornamentation and the merit of their finish.” Unsurprisingly, these refined objects were acquired for Marie Antoinette.


Pierre-Adrien Pâris, Preparatory Drawing for the Engraving, Representing an Urn from the Duke of Aumont’s Collections, 1782. Pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper, 7 7/8 × 5 1/8 in. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris