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Caffieri (Fr. käfyārēˈ, Ital. käf-fyāˈrē) [key], French family of artists. Philippe Caffieri, 1634–1716, left Italy to enter the service of Louis XIV at the Gobelin factory. He and a son, Jacques Caffieri, 1678–1755, were employed by the architect Le Brun to make adornments for the palace and gardens at Versailles. Philippe is recorded as having made carved wood decorations for the ambassadors' staircase in the palace. He made bronzes for the king's chamber (1738) and for the council room. His son, Philippe Caffieri II, 1714–74, worked with him, and together they produced an immense volume of metalwork, including sumptuous ormolu (imitation gold made of brass) mountings for furniture, adornments for several of the royal palaces, e.g., Fontainebleau and Choisy, and casings for clocks—notably a celebrated astronomical clock presented to Louis XV. Another son of Jacques, Jean Jacques Caffieri, 1725–92, was a sculptor especially noted for statues and portrait busts. His Père Pingré is in the Louvre.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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