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Eighteenth-century objets d'art and furniture

In the eighteenth century, antiques and objets d'art embodied the reflection of power and royal influence. The decorative arts contributed to the promotion of royal glorification. Many artists’ workshops and manufactories benefitted from royal protection, aimed at supporting French craftsmanship. Goldsmithing, silversmithing, earthenware, porcelain, and glassmaking produced veritable works of art, which were flagships of French craftsmanship. The eighteenth century was the golden age of antique furniture.

The exceptional expertise of various craftsmen—cabinetmakers, sculptors, painters, ornamentalists, gilders, glassmakers, and faienciers—was combined to create masterpieces of virtuosity. Antiques and objets d'art very skilfully combined these prestigious materials (precious woods, gilt bronze, mother-of-pearl, porcelain, enamel, and crystal) with sophisticated techniques (Boulle marquetry, Chinese lacquer, and vernis Martin) to attract a clientele in quest of excellence.