New Book | Tastemakers: British Dealers and the Anglo-Gallic Interior

Posted in books by Editor on April 30, 2020

Forthcoming from The Getty (in July) . . .

Diana Davis, The Tastemakers: British Dealers and the Anglo-Gallic Interior, 1785–1865 (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2020), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1606066416, $65.

In this volume, Diana Davis demonstrates how London dealers invented a new and visually splendid decorative style that combined the contrasting tastes of two nations. Departing from the conventional narrative that depicts dealers as purveyors of antiquarianism, Davis repositions them as innovators who were key to transforming old art objects from ancien régime France into cherished ‘antiques’ and, equally, as creators of new and modified French-inspired furniture, bronze work, and porcelain. The resulting old, new, and reconfigured objects merged aristocratic French eighteenth-century taste with nineteenth-century British preference, and they were prized by collectors, who displayed them side by side in palatial interiors of the period.

The Tastemakers analyzes dealer-made furnishings from the nineteenth-century patron’s perspective and in the context of the interiors for which they were created, contending that early dealers deliberately formulated a new aesthetic with its own objects, language, and value. Davis examines a wide variety of documents to piece together the shadowy world of these dealers, who emerge center stage as traders, makers, and tastemakers.

Diana Davis specializes in the interface between collectors, dealers, and the art market in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


Note to the Reader


Part 1 — Trade, Taste and Retail
1  ‘The Revised Taste of Louis the Fourteenth’
2  ‘Nos Amis, Les Enemies!: Britain and France
3  ‘The Wily Brocanteur
4  ‘The New Race of Connoisseurs’

Part 2 — The Dealer-Producer
5  Manufacturers of Antique Furniture
6  ‘Matt and Burnished Gold’
7  ‘China Painted and Gilt’
8  ‘A Burst of Splendour’: The Anglo-Gallic Interior


Appendix 1  Selected Dealer Biographies
Appendix 2  Sale Catalogs

Sources and Bibliography
About the Author
Illustration Credits

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