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Martin-Éloi Lignereux


(1751 - 1809)

Martin-Eloi Lignereux was one of the most important marchand-merciers (merchants of luxury objects) of the last quarter of the 18th century and the early years of the following century. On April 1, 1787, he went into partnership with Dominique Daguerre, thus becoming the Parisian representative of the Daguerre & Lignereux firm, which was established at 85, rue Saint-Honoré. After Daguerre’s retirement in 1793, he continued to run the firm with great success, while conserving his predecessor’s clientele and playing an important role in the renewal of contemporary Parisian decorative art. In 1801, he was awarded a gold medal at the Exhibition of the Products of Industry, where it was noted that “in the opinion of all observers, the furniture made by Citizen Lignereux is remarkable for its elegance and lavish embellishments, for the choice of the appropriate form for each piece, and finally, for the exactness and high-quality finishing of both the interiors and the exteriors”. Several years previously, his daughter Adélaïde-Anne had married the renowned Parisian cabinetmaker François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, known as Jacob-Desmalter. In 1804 Lignereux retired, selling his business to the bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire. During his active years, Lignereux worked for the most influential collectors of the day, including the Duke d’Aumont-Valentinois, Queen Marie-Antoinette, the Count d’Artois (brother of King Louis XVI), the Baron de Breteuil, the Prince of Wales (future King George IV of England), Czar Paul I of Russia, and Napoleon Bonaparte.