Morel, Jean-Valentin (French, 1794-1860)

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Jean-Valentin Morel (1794-1860), was the most prestigious French jeweller and lapidary craftsman of his time.

Following his father’s footsteps as a master jeweller and rock crystal carver, Morel made a name for himself by working alongside important makers such as Vachette, Veyrat and Fossin, and soon began receiving commissions from Emperor Napoleon I of France. Morel developed a flair for creating objets d'art in the Renaissance revival style, and later worked in partnership with Henri Duponchel. Together, Morel and Duponchel produced Renaissance revival style artworks that followed the designs of Louis Constant Sevin. The pair were commissioned by important customers such as the King of Sardinia and Pope Gregory XVI.

Throughout his career, Morel produced the highest quality objects for many European royals as well as for the British royal family, after being appointed Goldsmith to the Crown during his stay in London, in 1852. He exhibited at several major international fairs such as the Great Exhibition of 1851 where he was awarded the Council Medal, and at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1855, where he was awarded the ‘Grande Medaille’ for goldwork and jewellery. In the same year, he was made Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur by Napoleon III.

Today, Morel's exceptional works are highly sought after by collectors across the world, and are often held in impressive private collections or museums.