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Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot

Mustard Pot


Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot
Paris 1763 – Paris 1850


Mustard Pot


Between 1809 and 1819


Silver, silver gilt


17.5 x 8.8 x 8.7 cm


Weight: 614.6 g


Gift of the Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., O.C., in honour of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' 150th anniversary, inv. 2010.768.1-3


Decorative Arts and Design

Among the ancient Roman sculptures to have had a great influence on Neoclassical culture, what are called the Borghese and Medici vases (1st century B.C.) have a special place. The first was found during excavations of the Gardens of Sallust in Rome in 1566, while the second appeared in the inventory of the Villa Medici in Rome in 1598.

The Borghese vase arrived in Paris in 1808, a time when the influence of the Classical world was at its height, subsequent to Napoleon buying from Prince Camillo Borghese—his brother-in-law—the great Italian family’s entire collection of ancient sculptures for the Napoleon Museum in the Louvre.

Artists and craftsmen were particularly fascinated by the purity of the calyx krater form. Its bell-shaped bowl ended in a thick lip, and it had a bulbous belly. While the Borghese vase had lost its handles, the Medici vase, transferred to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, retained them, and served as the reference for recreating the complete shape. These works in silver show the influence of that shape on the production of French silversmiths, notably Odiot, Biennais and Giroux.

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