Jim Gergat has been accession for decades. His affection is American woodworkers. He does not aggregate appliance or carvings; he collects facts about the lives of 1500 woodworkers alive in Philadelphia afore 1800.
One of the arresting mysteries about Philadelphia appliance carvers that has ashamed Gergat for years is the activity adventure of the accomplished Martin Jugiez, who carved in Philadelphia aback Chippendale’s Gentleman and Cabinet-maker Director actuality a ample accumulating of the best Elegant and Useful Designs of Shousehold Appliance in the Gothic, Chinese and Modern Taste determined the latest fashion.
“I went to Winterthur to see the exhibition that celebrates the 300th ceremony of Thomas Chippendale’s birth,” said Gergat during a continued buzz conversation. Some altar from Winterthur’s accumulating accept been put on appearance in the centermost arcade on the aboriginal floor, highlighting Chippendale’s access on Philadelphia furniture. The acclaimed ancillary armchair based on bowl XII (first edition, 1754) and bowl XIV in the third copy (1762) of Chippendale’s Director, with abstraction attributed to Martin Jugiez, has a arcade characterization that tells annihilation of Jugiez’s activity or training added than advertence that he accustomed with a absolutely developed abstraction style. “Nothing is accepted of his aboriginal name or alike the actual spelling and accentuation of his name,” said Gergat.
This chair, one of two at Winterthur, may accept been allotment of a beyond set that affluent ironworks magnate John Potts (c. 1710-1768) ordered for Pottsgrove Manor, the abode he congenital in 1752 in a Pottstown, Pennsylvania. A armchair that Chippendale illustrated in bowl XII (first edition, 1754) and bowl XIV (third edition, 1762) of the The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director served as the architecture adjustment for not alone the aback but additionally the annal feet—a attenuate archetype in American furniture. Carver Martin Jugiez bidding his own agitated abstraction style, abacus ruffles or gadrooning to the basal of the bench rails, and acute and undercutting the leaves encircling the circling feet, adopting Chippendale’s architecture to a new level. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1765-75, mahogany, arctic white cedar. Gift of Henry Francis du Pont, 1960. James Schneck photo.
“We don’t apperceive abounding about Jugiez except that he advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette on November 25, 1762, that he and his accomplice Nicholas Bernard had alien appurtenances on the Carolina with Captain Acquaintance at the captain sailing from London,” Gergat said. The advertisement listed “A Compleat array of Looking-Glasses, affected in the newest Taste, Picture Frames, Sconces, Chimneypieces, Ornaments for Ceilings, Pictures Affected and Glazed, a accurate Harpsichord, N.B. All Sort of Abstraction in Wood or Stone and Gilding done in the neatest Manner.”
Gergat said that “surviving bills and receipts accept furnished some added information, and we apperceive Jugiez carved for abounding years best than his accomplice and acquaintance Nicholas Bernard, whose abounding name was Claude Nicholas Bernard, but no one told us aback or area Jugiez was built-in or trained.”
Thanks to a 2004 American Appliance annual commodity by Alan Miller and Luke Beckerdite, we do apperceive that Jugiez was a active carver for abounding years and that Bernard anon became the business-getter in the partnership, traveling to Boston, New York, and Charleston, and acceding advertisements in newspapers. Miller and Beckerdite accept the business adjustment had audible advantages. Bernard profited from Jugiez’s abilities as a artist and his astronomic accomplishment and productivity, while Jugiez benefited from the bounded and abroad access Bernard made. Miller and Beckerdite wrote about the bobcat cafe table Jugiez fabricated for the Pennsylvania Hospital, calling it a masterpiece, and they additionally illustrated clocks, aerial s, and -on-s.
Gergat, who spends his canicule at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania annual belletrist and annual books and abounding nights analytic the Internet, afresh hit pay dirt. In the French National Archives online he apparent what he believes to be Martin Jugiez’s apprenticeship agreement, anachronous June 1741: “MC/ET/XXXVIII/31930 juin 1741 Contrat de ambience en apprentissage cascade 5 ans, entre Jacques Jugiez, marchand de vins, et François Germain Suppligeaux, maître sculpteur, au accumulation de Martin Jugiez, âgé de 11 ans, fils de Jacques, logé, nourri, blanchi et entretenu par son père, sauf l’hiver, où le maître le logera, sans deniers déboursés (approuvé par les jurés en charge, droits perçus).” Translated it reads: “Apprenticeship arrangement for 5 years, amid Jacques Jugiez, wine merchant, and François Germain Suppligeaux, adept sculptor, in favor of Martin Jugiez, 11 years old, son of Jacques, lodged, fed, abashed [laundry done] and maintained by his father, except in winter, area the adept will abode him, after disbursements (approved by the board in charge, fees collected).”
“Now we apperceive Jugiez’s ancestor was a wine merchant, and Martin, at age 11, began his apprenticeship with a sculptor and that he was built-in in 1730, authoritative him two years earlier than his accomplice Bernard, who was built-in in 1732, and how to spell his name,” claims Gergat.
“Alexandra Kirtley [American appliance babysitter at the Philadelphia Museum of Art] thinks his ancestor was Portuguese. Perhaps he was active in Paris, affairs Portuguese wines to the French, or he could be French, but now we apperceive Jugiez was accomplished in Paris,” said Gergat. “I accept the access of France on American abstraction has to be reconsidered.”
We apperceive that Jugiez carved woodwork for every above cabinetmaking boutique in Philadelphia. He carved at Mount Pleasant, the admirable Georgian Abode in Fairmount Park, and he carved the bobcat table for the Pennsylvania Hospital and the Fox and Grapes aerial and bathrobe table that are at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In an commodity about the Fox and Grapes aerial and bathrobe table in the bounce 2008 Antiques and Fine Art, conservator Christopher Storb quotes an 1803 letter to Samuel Mifflin accounting by artist Benjamin Henry Latrobe apropos the architecture of a stove for the U.S. Senate alcove in Washington, D.C., that reads, “and old Martin Jugiez acclaimed as the ugliest man in Philadelphia will do the carving, absolutely in the stile [sic] of the stove of the Bank of Philadelphia.”
Noting Jugiez’s abounding assembly in a 50-year career in Philadelphia, Storb acicular out that there is hardly a burghal block in that burghal that didn’t abode s, chairs, tables, clock, cases, or architectural elements “embellished with his arresting sculptural carving.”
Gergat said, “By a quick count, added than eight actor dollars’ account of appurtenances from the boutique of Bernard and Jugiez has anesthetized admitting auctions in the 20th century.” He thinks Jugiez additionally may accept done abstraction for ships, and apparently carved some figureheads. Beckerdite and Miller accept attributed to Martin Jugiez a apprehension of Benjamin Franklin, 1785-95, that was purchased by the Chipstone Foundation at Sotheby’s in January 2016.
We now apperceive that Martin Jugiez was apprenticed to a French sculptor aback he was 11 years old. Gergat said he anon will accept a lot added advice to present and asks for any advice on Philadelphia woodworkers that will advice his endeavor.
Readers with advice can acquaintance Gergat via M.A.D.
Originally appear in the October 2018 affair of Maine Antique Digest. © 2018 Maine Antique Digest
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