This carving industry in Nancy arose when the depletion of the French treasury, due to Louis XIV’s extensive military campaigns, led to the sumptuary edicts of 1689-1709, which dictated that small personal objects, such as toilette accessories, boxes and mirrors, could no longer be made of silver or gold. To emulate Louis XIV, who had his gold and silver objects melted, the upper classes looked for a replacement for precious metals. In substitution of the silver toilette articles, the enterprising tabletiers of Nancy made these items from “bois de Sainte-Lucie” using the repertoire of designs and motifs formerly found on precious metal objects. Less precious than ivory, less fragile than lacquer, bois de Sainte-Lucie lent itself perfectly to the delicate chiseling closely related to goldsmith work.
Cesar Bagard was a sculptor of Nancy, died in 1702, who created boxes, cabinets, wooden utensils in a native of Lorraine Wood said Bois de Sainte-Lucie.
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