Jacques DUMONT LE ROMAIN
(Paris 1701 - Paris 1781)
Design for a Trophy: Les Arms Ottomans
All four corners of the sheet cut.
327 x 122 mm. (12 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.)
Four other preparatory drawings by Dumont le Romain for this set of engravings are known, all in red chalk and closely comparable to this pair of drawings. A red chalk design for a trophy of musical instruments, signed and dated 1736, is in the collection of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, while another similar drawing of a trophy with attributes of the arts, also signed and dated 1736, is in the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin. Two further drawings of trophies by Dumont for the Livre de nouveaux trophées, formerly in the Beurdeley collection, are today in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.
The present pair of drawings is very likely to have originally been signed and dated by the artist in red chalk at the lower left and right corners, as is found in the related drawings in Paris and Berlin, but these would have been lost when the corners of the sheets were cut.
These two drawings by Dumont le Romain may once have been part of the extensive collection of the designer Edward C. Moore (1827-1891), who worked as the head silversmith at Tiffany and Company during the latter half of the 19th century. Moore assembled a large study collection of several thousand objects, predominantly of Islamic art, and some five hundred books. Much of the collection was left to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York after Moore’s death in 1891.
A copy of the present sheet by an anonymous 18th century artist appears on the verso of a pen and ink drawing of a design for an altar, formerly in the Lodewijk Houthakker collection in Amsterdam.
Dumont le Romain’s designs for trophies and decorations represents a still little-studied aspect of his drawn oeuvre. Nevertheless, as the scholar Peter Fuhring has recently pointed out, ‘Dumont shows himself more inventive in his projects for trophies, which are rare and little known today.’ Fuhring further notes that the first half of the 18th century in France saw several artists create designs for trophies, including the sculptor François-Antoine Vassé, the painter and decorator Christophe Huet and the decorator and ornamental designer Alexis Peyrotte. Apart from the series of trophy designs by Dumont le Romain of c.1736, the printmaker and publisher Gabriel Huquier also issued two other sets of engravings of trophy designs the same year, based on designs by the sculptor René Charpentier.
His sale, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hôtel des Ventes, 12 December 2005, part of lot 17
W. M. Brady and Co., New York