|Gonzague Mézin (Director)|
Lignereux is a French company, founded in 1787, which produces objets d'art. Established in Paris and London, Lignereux plays a major role in decorative arts. Lignereux makes objects which are intended for art collectors. In 2015 Lignereux began to produce new objects, decorated by contemporary artists and craftspeople.
18th and 19th centuries
Lignereux was founded by the marchand-mercier Martin-Eloy Lignereux, who formed a partnership with Dominique Daguerre in 1787. Their firm specialised in making objets d'art and luxury decorative items, and was celebrated throughout Europe. With boutiques in Paris and London, and exclusive deals with the porcelain manufactures Sèvres and Wedgwood—being the only retailer to sell Wedgwood porcelain in Paris from 1787, and the only one to sell Sèvres porcelain in London from the 1790s—Lignereux became a destination for art collectors at the time.
The Parisian boutique, directed by Martin-Eloy Lignereux, became a tourist attraction, visited by rich foreigners who stayed in the French capital. A secret note from the Prefect of Police states in 1807 that “in peacetime, the maison of Daguerre and Lignereux turned over between 1,500,000 and 200,000,000 francs with foreign countries.”
After Daguerre’s death in 1796, Martin-Eloy Lignereux continued to develop his business as a creator of art objects. The best Parisian artists and craftsmen were called upon by the company to imagine furniture and objects “d’un goût nouveau” ("for a new taste"). In 1802 and 1803 Lignereux was awarded a gold medal at the Exposition des Produits de l'Industrie Française.
Maison Lignereux survived the French revolution and other historical event by adapting and anticipating trends in the decorative arts. Lignereux combines traditional craft skills with innovative creativity.
In the 18th century, Maison Lignereux was notable for having boutiques located in both Paris and London. This dual establishment reflected a key aspect of the Lignereux style, the unusual blend of French and English taste.
Maison Lignereux’s products were the result of a use of high quality materials, the collaboration of various artists, and a fusion of disparate cultures.
Bronze and exotic woods are ever-present in Lignereux’s 18th and 19th century pieces, often combined with marble, porcelain, and pietra dura. Several motifs appear like signatures, such as the octagon, the bamboo, dragons with open wings, the torch, sphinxes, griffins, lion feet with coiling lines.
Kings and queens
Lignereux has always attracted a royal and imperial clientele. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the King and Queen of Naples (Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies), Czar Paul I of Russia, the Prince of Wales (future King George IV), Emperor Napoleon, and his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais, are among Lignereux’s past clients.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, Lignereux objects and furniture have been acquired by or belong to major art collectors, including:
- Moïse de Camondo,
- Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé,
- Professor Guy Ledoux-Lebard,
- Baron Fould-Springer, Nathaniel de Rothschild
- Edmond Safra.
Some historical creations of maison Lignereux are still part of important private art collections. Other pieces either created, preserved or sold by maison Lignereux in the 18th and 19th century are exhibited today in public museums, in particular
- the Château de Versailles,
- the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
- the Château de Malmaison,
- the Hermitage Museum,
- the Château de Fontainebleau,
- the Royal Collection, Uppark House,
- the Musée Nissim-de-Camondo,
- the Rijksmuseum,
- the Victoria and Albert Museum,
- Woburn Abbey.
- “Inventaire des laques anciennes et des objets de curiosité de Marie-Antoinette confiés à Daguerre et Lignereux”. 142 pieces are entrusted to Lignereux and Daguerre, including objects made of lacquer, crystal and petrified wood. https://archive.org/stream/archivesdelartfr08guifuoft/archivesdelartfr08guifuoft_djvu.txt
- Jérôme Merceron, Martin-Eloy Lignereux, marchand-mercier à Paris à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Mémoire de DEA sous la direction de MM. Alain Mérot et Bill Pallot, 2000
- Pierre Verlet, Le Commerce des Objets d’Art et les marchands merciers à Paris au XVIIIe siècle, 1958, 
- Merceron, 2000.
- The first Parisian boutique of Maison Lignereux is located 85 rue St-Honoré. Its first shop in London is on Piccadilly, followed by a boutique located 42 Sloane Street. Later on, Maison Lignereux moves its boutiques to 2 rue Christine, 44 rue Vivienne and finally 44 rue Taitbout.
- The French taste blended with England is analysed in the last paragraph of the following note: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-pair-of-empire-ormolu-mounted-japanese-black-3933065-details.aspx?from=salesummary&intObjectID=3933065&sid=553c1413-563e-4539-a6c6-f73c6199683f#top
- Secrétaire with pannels of marbles and reverse glass painting by Weisweiler, supervised by Lignereux, Palacio De Oriente, Madrid : http://www.sothebys.com/content/dam/stb/lots/L13/L13303/622L13303_6YMNT-comp7.jpg.thumb.319.319.png
- A magnificent and very rare Empire gilt bronze mounted console "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Pair of cabinets http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/31308/pair-of-cabinets
- Musee Nissim de Camondo: http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/francais/musees/musee-nissim-de-camondo/parcours/rez-de-chaussee-haut/le-grand-salon/paire-de-vases-couverts-en-bois
- In the Hôtel Lambert was a console in pietra dura made from a chimney from Maison Lignereux for Hortense de Beauharnais: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/LotDetailsPrintable.aspx?intObjectID=5474045
- La Gazette Drouot, 2006: http://www.gazette-drouot.com/static/magazine_ventes_aux_encheres/top_des_encheres/meuble_2006.html
- Un château Rothschild aux enchères: http://www.lesechos.fr/16/09/2011/LesEchos/21018-187-ECH_un-chateau-rothschild-aux-encheres.htm
- A Highly Important late Louis XVI ormolu-mounted Japanese black and gilt lacquer and ebony commode à vantaux and secrétaire à abattant en suitelate 18th century, attributed to Adam Weisweiler and Pierre-Philippe Thomire, under the direction of Martin-Eloi Lignereux: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/property-from-the-collections-of-lily-edmond-j-safra-n08822/lot.749.
- Photos du Grand Trianon à Versailles: http://voyager-comme-ulysse.com/grand-trianon/
- Alvar Gonzalez-Palacio highlighted and analysed Lignereux and Daguerre's realisations for the King and Queen of Naples. Major pieces from this ensemble now belong to the Metropolitan Museum: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/206589, http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/206588, http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/236097
- Peintures et mobilier des Musées de France: Malmaison http://notesdemusees.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/malmaison.html
- In particular a pair of ormolu sconces (Inventory Inv. 671C): http://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/sites/default/files/dossier_de_presse_au_temps_des_merveilleuses.pdf
- Pair of cabinets: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/31308/pair-of-cabinets
- Candelabra, Martin-Eloy Lignereux, National Trust Collections: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/137836.2
- Pair of vases in petrified wood from the private collection of Queen Marie-Antoinette: http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/francais/musees/musee-nissim-de-camondo/parcours/rez-de-chaussee-haut/le-grand-salon/paire-de-vases-couverts-en-bois
- Some objects by Maison Lignereux, acquired by the Duke of Bedford during the Peace of Amiens, are still at Woburn Abbey (http://www.woburnabbey.co.uk/) while others went on auction in 2009: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2009/important-furniture-silver-ceramics-l09767/lot.17.html, http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2009/important-furniture-silver-ceramics-l09767/lot.16.html.