Paul Crespin

( 1694 - 1770 )

Born in Westminster to Huguenot parents, Crespin was apprenticed to Jean Pons in 1713. His first marks were entered between 1720 and 1721, when he was described as being free of the Company of Longe Bowe String Makers. From 1720 until about 1760 Crespin conducted business from his address in Compton Street, Soho. He then retired with his wife and daughter to Southampton, where he died at the age of seventy-six. From the outset of his career Crespin distinguished himself as a goldsmith of the greatest ability, attracting patronage from the sovereigns of England, Portugal, and Russia. Although his was apparently a less prolific workshop than Paul de Lamerie's, his most important clients, such as the Prince of Wales and the dukes of Devonshire, Marlborough, and Portland, give some indication of the strength of his reputation. While some of his surviving works, such as the soup tureen of 1740 in the Toledo Museum (Grimwade 1974, pl. 25), testify to his outstanding skills, many of his greatest pieces, such as a "fine silver bathing vessel" made for the king of Portugal in 1724, have been lost.