"Beyond the Border" sets the lives and work of Huguenot goldsmiths in the context of the different societies in which they lived and worked. Distinguished international scholars explore the contributions of individual goldsmiths drawing on new research. Michele Bimbenet Privat examines the lives and work of Huguenot goldsmiths in France during times of tolerance of the Protestant religion in the 16th and 17th centuries. She explains how protestant craftsmen dominated regional centres but found establishing a presence in the metropolis more challenging. The influence of the Louis XIV style was greater on the leading Dutch goldsmiths in the late 17th and 18th centuries. In contrast to London, first generation Huguenot goldsmiths played only a minor role in their adopted cities of The Hague and Amsterdam. Those who settled in Berlin and Kassel, often from Metz in Northern France, made a greater impact through the purity of style in which they continued to work in the 18th century. Those who settled in the English speaking world benefited from ambitious patronage from noble and professional clients.
Goldsmiths who settled in the American colonies had more in common stylistically with those who worked in Dublin and Cork. First generation Huguenot goldsmiths in London set the pace for the next generation which produced in Paul de Lamerie one of the most successful craft businesses of his generation. "Beyond the Border" explores the transatlantic links between the Huguenot goldsmiths who settled in Europe and America.
Dr Tessa Murdoch is Deputy Keeper of the Sculpture, Ceramics, Metalwork and Glass Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum London and recently curated the exhibition Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars.