We return to the nave to reach the fifth square behind the trophy and the benches surrounding the fountain. This is the French goldsmith's shop, which forms two squares separated by the entrance. As always, let us take the right-hand side, and we first find the church silverware of M. Favier of Lyon, enriched with enamels and gems. The large monstrance in the middle is that of the cathedral of Lyon, and the crosier is that of the archbishop of that city, according to the design of M. Dujardin.
Then comes M. Marrel jeune, with a great variety of small enamelled reliquaries. The main piece is a small cross, Gothic style, of a very beautiful effect; the foot is of ivory, the figures of silver, the small door of gold, with lapis inlays. The cross is carved in wood, of perfect workmanship.
M. Rossigneux exhibited, among other things, a sculpted and chiselled silver cup, surmounted by an allegory representing the Doubs (a river); this was a gift to the chief engineer of the Doubs department from the Doubs Valley Railway Committee.
M. Debain has beautiful table silverware, oilers, tea sets, etc., and M. Poussielgue-Rusand, church silverware and bronzes, imitation of the thirteenth century. Messrs. Gerbaud and Thierry also have church ornaments decorated with gems; in the latter's showcase, in the middle, a large gilt monstrance, a Gothic pen, decorated with pearls and precious stones, worth 4,000 francs.
M. Grichois has invented goldsmithing inside the crystal, which is of superb effect. All the objects in his showcase are made of crystal, in which we see silver arabesques. It seems that these arabesques are between two glasses.
Mr Delajuveny follows with his "autogenous silvering", as he calls the silver leafing he applies to bronze. The fireplace trim he exhibits is silvered by this process.
M. Dalaine has table silver in plating, among others an oxidised teapot, resembling old silver. Marrel aîné occupies the part of the front that faces the entrance. In his display case is a very beautiful shield representing the battle of the Amazons, after Rubens. Among the other objects, a large tea service, oriental style, covered with blue enamel of the most beautiful effect.
On the other side, M. Durand, with one of the most beautiful pieces of French silverware. It is a very elegant tea fountain, modelled by M. Klagueman and executed in the workshops of M. Durand. A member of the Orleans family is said to have commissioned this piece.
Mr. Fray exhibits table silverware, where one will notice a magnificent tray with rich designs. A very nice basket of flowers is in the middle.
Cosson - Cerby also has tableware, as well as M. Thouvet, which completes this square. In the display case of this one, one will notice, on the left hand, a mass book with four small paintings of a perfect execution, produced by electroplating, and representing 1° the birth of Moses, 2° Moses descending from Mount Sinai, 3° the baptism of Christ, and 4° the Descent from the Cross.
The first showcase of the second square of French silverware is occupied by Mr. Rudolphi, whose speciality is the imitation of old silver. We see at the back of his -loge a prie-dieu in Byzantine enamel, gilded and adorned with gems, many objects of finery in matt silver, a left-handed pedestal table covered with 97 enamels, representing Christ and the saints. Among the vases, a large one in the form of a jug rotating on its base, on the front in the middle, is noteworthy. This silver vase is worth examining. It represents the Vices, led by Fortune and Misery. Pride on horseback leads the way, Envy clings to its cloak; Avarice, Lust, mounted on a goat, Gluttony on a pig, Sloth and Death accompanied by Sickness next to which the executioner with the sword. The composition is by M.Chaume, and the chasing by M.Poux, the price 40,000 fr.
Let us now take the showcases on the right, before examining the middle of the square, and we find first of all the showcase of M. Veyrat, in which a very beautiful service and a jewellery box in solid silver, worth 6,000 fr. M. Henry-Hayet has sculptures for goldsmiths, as well as a pretty model of a wax mirror frame, etc., and a very pretty flower cup, in solid silver. In the middle, three children support a tripod which holds the cup. The stirrup of the Emperor at the bottom is of a very beautiful work. Jansse has church ornaments, Hébert de Rouen has silverware, including two pretty baskets of blue crystal trimmed with silver, the church ornaments of Mr. Baschelet on the side lead us to the large display case of Mr. Gueyton. On the top, we see the bust of the Empress reproduced after the one of Mr. Newerkerke, without soldering, by electric way, of a jet. On the left, a silver Calvary, also electroplated, and further on a shield after the antique, price 150 fr. At the bottom, among other swords, the one offered by the city of Montpellier to General Rostolan, and another given by the National Guard of Rouen to Colonel Bligny. M. Léonard has in a small showcase next to it, some very nice models in silver wax for goldsmiths, as well as a stag, a fox, a dromedary, etc. Opposite, we find Mr. Lebrun with a beautiful table service, Louis XVI style, moulded and chiselled. Mr. Wiese is next door; in his display case we see, among other things, a very beautiful matt silver vase with a very beautiful bas-relief representing the Abduction of the Sabines. Bacchus forms the handle, and small Centaurs surround the foot. At the bottom and above a plaster shield, the subject of which is taken from Ariosto, and on the left a wax washbasin, the pot of which represents the Willis round. We pass Mr. Rudolfi once more to find on the other side of the square the objects of Casses, among which a beautiful jewel box, and above a champagne bucket imitating ice stalactites. A large shield at the bottom represents the hunt. A hunter is standing in the middle, holding a dog by the lace. Around him, the boar, the stag and the fox pursued by hounds; the whole is of a very fine work and worth 3,500 fr. Next to it, there is a very nice tea service in gilt silver and strewn with small daisies, by M. Gallot, priced at 6,000 fr. and church ornaments by M. Trioullier, among which a very large monstrance decorated with figures, among which the four evangelists seated below at the four corners.
©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855