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Daniel Marot

1661 - 1752

Active in England during the William & Mary furniture period Daniel Marot's work as a Royal architect and "Master of the Works" probably had its most clear effect on what is called Queen Anne furniture, a style which developed later.

Short Biography

Daniel Marot, born in 1661, was a French architect, and also a designer of furniture and an engraver. As a Huguenot, or French Protestant/Calvinist, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 meant he had to flee his native France to save himself from religious persecution, and he settled in Holland, where he attracted the notice of the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, who was the Prince of Orange, and afterwards became King William III of England.

Marot Candlestands
Marot Candlestands, circa 1700.
These are known as gueridons and served as stands for candlesticks. In around 1700, ensembles of two gueridons, a table and a mirror formed a regular feature of state rooms in Louis XIV style. These gueridons were carved in limewood and gilded, imitating the pure gold furnishings of the French king.

When his Royal patron, William of Orange, came to England Marot left Holland, and continued his work as an architect, showing a great capacity for adapting his French and Dutch ideas so that they did not clash with the more restrained English taste, but gave to the English tradition some additional beauty and freshness.

Marot Design

Daniel Marot Design
Daniel Marot Design, 1700.
Daniel Marot published themed sets of half a dozen or so of his designs from 1687 onwards. These prints were also brought together in sets of collected works, consisting of more than 100 prints each, in 1703 and 1712. This print comes from a set of chimney-piece designs.

Marot's ideas were inclined to grandiosity; but his excursions into elaboration had far more finish and balance than the work of architects and craftsmen who crowded houses with every conceivable expression of luxurious living, lacquer cabinets and screens, Oriental vases, wonderful tapestries, and carved and gilded furniture wrought into a multiplicity of complex shapes.

Marot at Hampton Court

At Hampton Court he worked not only on the gardens, but upon the embellishment and furnishing of the apartments of the new building that Sir Christopher Wren had designed by the orders of William III.

Bed by Daniel Marot
Bed by Daniel Marot, 1700.
The Melville Bed, The bedstead consists of an oak bedstock (frame) with four oak posts secured to the rails with bolts. It retains its original ropes and linen ticking fabric to support the mattresses. The top of the posts hold iron spikes that secure the tester (upper horizontal section) and cornice. The coved interior of the tester is built up with facetted boards. The Chinese silk lining bears a Chinese inscription on the selvedge (finished edge of the fabric). Traces of pencil on the underside of the tester cloth provide guidelines for the application of braid and fringe. The curtains are made of joined widths of velvet.

Marot the Designer

Before fleeing to Holland, Marot had made designs for Andre Charles Boulle, the great French cabinet maker (1642 - 1732), for bracket and long case clocks. He was a prolific designer, and turned his attention to every detail connected with furnishing and decoration. His schemes were well composed and harmonious in effect, although he permitted overcrowding, even as the Stuart designers had permitted it; but there was a difference in the quality of his extremely ornate effects : they were ordered and well proportioned, and his influence in the William and Mary period advanced the cause of good proportion and good sense in furniture design.

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