Important Silversmiths – Jean-Charles Cahier

Well known as silversmith to the kings Louis XVIII and Charles X, Jean-Charles Cahier was apprenticed to Martin-Guillaume Biennais, silversmith appointed by Napoleon. In 1801 he became master silversmith and in 1821, after Biennais retirement, he took over his company.

Cahier also took ecclesiastical commissions: the French register of historic church silver counts 86 pieces with his mark, especially reliquaries, fonts and processional crosses. Among these pieces it’s worth to mention the reliquary of the Crown of thorns in Notre Dame de Paris, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and designed by Viollet-le-Duc, and the reliquary of Reims cathedral.

Among his secular masterpieces, one of the most impressive is undoubtedly a large and lavish gilt-silver dinner service commissioned by the Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia (1798 - 1849) sold in Christie’s in 2004. He is also made part of the coronation set of Charles X in 1825.

Although he was well placed with the restored Bourbon regime, Cahier's business eventually went bankrupt in 1828.