Robert-Joseph Auguste


Robert-Joseph Auguste (1723 – ca1805) was one of the most illustrious Parisian goldsmiths and sculptors of the 18th century.

Without a formal apprenticeship, Auguste worked with several different goldsmiths and was able to pursue his vocation by royal license, as an artist suivant le cour, entering his mark on 15 January 1757. In 1773 he became 'orfevre du Roi' and four years later bought the business of Jacques Rottiers moving to the latter's premises in the "Galeries du Louvres" in 1785 on Roettier's death.

He was one of the first Parisian goldsmiths to work in the Neoclassical style and received many important commissions from the French court including the crown used at Louis XVI’s coronation. As well as undertaking commissions for the French court he supplied extensive silver services to other Royal households including George III of Great Britain, and Catherine II of Russia.

His renown throughout Europe was such that n 1776 an English silversmith described Auguste in a letter: "as I have not seen the best productions of Monsr Auguste I therefore presume I have seen nothing. His fame I am persweded is founded on superior Merit because I have heard so many Noblemen of good Tast concur in ye same opinion of him...."

In addition to silver and gold, he created works cast in gilded-bronze, such as the mounts on a porphyry vase and cover in the Wallace Collection, London, and an influential pair of wall appliqués now in the Wrightsman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
His son Henri Auguste assumed control of the family workshop in 1784–85.