Jacob Petit

(1796-1868 Paris) French Porcelain maker, designer.

Jacob Mardouché (who went by Petit, his wife’s surname) studied painting in Antoine Jean Gros’s workshop. In 1820, he earned his certification as a porcelain manufacturer. He made several journeys to Italy, Switzerland and Germany before settling down for a few years in England, where he studied various industries and painted stage sets.

When most Parisian porcelain makers were creating models in the Neo-Classical style, Petit went against tradition and created in a wide variety of styles and decoration. His extravagant styles appeared when the art of the porcelain industry was falling into decline, and his success offered a boost to the decorative porcelain trade.

Petit returned to France around 1830-1831 and published an important interior design collection composed of hundreds of drawings depicting models of vases, furniture, chairs, and silver and bronze objects. His tome presented a variety of previous styles, with an obvious preference for Antiquity and Gothic styles. After a short period at Sèvres, he opened a small workshop in Belleville.

His success was fast and spectacular, and in 1833 he bought the porcelain factory of Baruch Weil at Fontainebleau. The factory was appreciated by Louis XVIII, Charles X and the Duchess of Berry.