Louisa Courtauld

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Louisa Courtauld
Louisa Courtauld by Johann Zoffany.jpg
Louisa Courtauld, c. 1770
Louisa Perina Ogier

Known forSilversmith
MovementRococo, Neoclassicism
Cup and cover, 1771–1772 (hallmarked), Louisa Courtauld and George Cowles V&A Museum no. 804:1, 2-1890

Louisa Perina Courtauld (née Ogier) (1729–1807) was an English silversmith.[1]

Daughter of a silk weaver from France, Peter Abraham Ogier and his wife Catherine Rabaud,[2] Louisa Courtauld was born in London, in which city she spent most of her career. Her family's home at 19 Princelet Street, a 'brick messuage' built in 1719, is now being conserved as a museum of immigration and diversity.[3][4]

At the age of 20 she married Samuel Courtauld (goldsmith), son of Augustin Courtauld, a metalsmith of Huguenot extraction.[5] With him she had eight children, although only four survived,[6] and until his death in 1765 they ran a successful business. After her husband died, Louisa continued to run the firm by herself; some years later, she took on George Cowles, who had been the head apprentice, as a business partner. In 1777 her son, Samuel Courtauld II, replaced him in that capacity. This arrangement lasted three years; when it ended the two closed the business. Samuel moved to America, while Louisa retired to Essex.[7]

Courtauld's firm was known for the high quality of its wares. She and her husband made their reputation with silver in the then-popular Rococo style from France.[8] However, by the time of her partnership with Cowles, tastes had shifted towards Neoclassicism, and the company changed its output accordingly.[9]

Courtauld's father-in-law Augustin Courtauld had studied with Simon Pantin,[9] whose daughter, Elizabeth Godfrey, was to become with Courtauld one of the very few female silversmiths of distinction in eighteenth-century London.[10]

Louisa Courtauld's portrait was painted by Johann Zoffany, whose commissions included members of the British royal family.[10]

As a widow, she may have lived in a cottage behind Joseph Priestley's house off Clapton Square on the corner of Clapton Passage and Lower Clapton Road in Hackney.[citation needed] Her last will and testament, probated 27 January 1807, identifies her as "Louisa Perina Courtauld, Widow of Saint John Hackney, Middlesex."[11] She was originally buried in the vault of Christ Church, Spitalfields, East London. However, following extensive archaeological excavation of the Spitalfields church crypt in the 1980s, prior to the church's restoration, her body was removed and examined. Her remains were reburied in Gosfield Church, Essex in 2002.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Oxford University Press. p. 279.
  2. ^ Sturmer, Herbert H. (1896). Some Poitevin Protestants in London: notes about the families of Ogier from Sigournais and Creuzé of Châtellerault and Niort. London: The Author. pp. 13–24. ISBN 1235666832.
  3. ^ "The House". 19 Princelet Street. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ Waters, David (2014). "A host of histories" (PDF). Teaching History. The Historical Association. 156: 42–50. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Louisa Courtauld 1729–1807". National Museum of Women in the Arts. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Archaeology Data Service: myADS" (PDF). archaeologydataservice.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  7. ^ Clifford, Helen (2008). "Louisa Courtauld". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ Hayward, John Forrest (1975). The Courtauld silver : an introduction to the work of the Courtauld Family of Goldsmiths. London: Sotheby Parke Bernet.
  9. ^ a b Wenham, Edward (April 3, 2009). "Flashback: Huguenot Silversmiths, The Courtaulds". Collector's Weekly. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b Glanville, Philippa; Goldsborough, Jennifer Faulds (1990). Women silversmiths : 1685–1845 : works from the collection of The National Museum of Women in the Arts Washington, D.C. ; [exhibition]. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0500235783.
  11. ^ "PROB 11/1454/224: Will of Louisa Perina Courtauld, Widow of Saint John Hackney , Middlesex". The National Archives, Kew. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  12. ^ Johnson, Malcolm (2013). The crypts of London. Stroud: History Press. pp. Chapter 3: Museums and Research. ISBN 9781860776724.
  13. ^ Reeve, Jez; Adams, Max, The Spitalfields project. Vol.1, The Archaeology: Across the Styx, Council for British Archaeology, York 1993, ISBN 978-1-872414-07-2.
  14. ^ Molleson, Theya and Cox, Margaret with A H Waldron and D K Whittaker, The Spitalfields Project Vol.2, The Anthropology: The Middling Sort, Council for British Archaeology, York 1993
  15. ^ Adams M, Reeve J. 1987. Excavations at Christ Church, Spitalfields 1984-6. Antiquity 61:247–256.