Pierre Harache (c.1639-c.1712)

Pierre Harache was the the first Huguenot goldsmith to be admitted to the Goldsmiths Companyand the best known Huguenot maker of candlesticks. He was born in Rouen in 1639 and arrived in England in 1681.

Pierre Harache candlesticks
A pair of Queen Anne silver candlesticks with the Royal Badge, Pierre Harache I of London, c.1702

Whereas in England a young man would learn his craft from a master, and then either remain  working for him as a journeyman or set himself up nearby, in France, when a goldsmith had completed his apprenticeship he would travel about and pick up new ideas and skills. Thus a French goldsmith had a much wider repertoire than his ‘English counterpart.

In 1682 Harache was admitted to the Goldsmiths Company. Foreign craftsmen had never been welcomed by English silversmiths and in 1574  Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company was denied to  all foreigners. Harache  was obviously highly thought of as he was granted the Livery in 1687 and granted the Freedom of the City, which  was only granted under very special circumstances.

He made some of the  earliest  cast candlesticks with faceted, cast baluster stems. His work was of such high quality that it is referred to today as having heralded a new era in the  production of English silver. Among his patrons were the Duke of Devonshire, the  Duke of Somerset, and the Duke of Marlborough. 

The First Huguenot Silversmiths of London :  David McKinley



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