Manufacture Dihl et Guérhard, Pair of white blue and gold porcelain coolers.
Mark in red ink Manufacture Dihl et Guérhard
Pair of porcelain ice chests made up of three parts and decorated with friezes and gilded fillets framing blue bands.
In 1781, Christophe Dihl and the Guérhard couple, Antoine and Louise-Marie-Madeleine, signed the deed of partnership that gave birth to the Dihl and Guérhard porcelain factory. Opened under the patronage of the Duc d'Angoulême, nephew of King Louis XIV, this protection ensured them the right to create enamelled and coloured porcelain pieces, despite the monopoly that the Sèvres manufactory had until then held on this production.
Created under the Ancien Régime, the manufactory lived through the Revolution, the Consultat and the Empire before dying out under the Restoration in 1828. Thanks to Dihl's technical ingenuity and the commercial foresight of the Guerhards, it was an innovative company that was successful from the outset, employing twelve sculptors and thirty painters in 1785. Throughout the Neoclassical period, it established itself as the main competitor to the Sèvres manufactory with its use of a wide range of colours for the enamels, the exquisite delicacy of its biscuits and its elaborate ornamentation.
The manufactory stood out for the wide variety of pieces it was authorised to produce thanks to royal protection: crockery, clocks, biscuit groups, paintings on porcelain, etc. These paintings demanded technical virtuosity that Dihl brought to its peak, earning him an award at the Exhibition of Industrial Products in Year V (1797-1798). In the same year, he married Madame Guérhard, who was then a widow.
The Revolution does not seem to have affected the factory, which had already achieved an international reputation, and the Imperial period marked the apogee of the factory, which enjoyed resounding success in 1806 at the Exhibition of Industrial Products and at the Salon. By carefully selecting the best specialists for each job, they ensured production of exceptional quality, employing up to two hundred workers.
However, the economic crisis caused by Napoleon's wars, combined with the continental blockade put in place by his adversaries, pushed the factory onto a long downward slope: the Dihl family sold a great deal abroad, particularly to Spain, England and Russia. Despite the courageous struggle of the ageing couple, the company was wound up by the court in 1828, two years before Dihl died in 1830, followed by his wife in 1831. All the manufactory's assets were dispersed at auction, including two sales of the finest pieces