ÉMILE DESMAISONS Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) ca. 1860 [R/V] - x +
DesE1860colb


CN: DesE1860colb

MT: albumen print on paper mounted on card (9x6 / C:10x6)

TX: embossed at lower left of picture <ED>, printed at lower left of margin in French <Collection E. DESMAISONS>, inscribed with fountain pen at lower center of margin <Colbért>, inscribed with pencil at rear upper left <Colbert>, printed at center <E. DESMAISONS / 22, Rue de l'Arbre-Sec / PRÈS LE PONT NEUF / PARIS / Ci devant Rue des Grands Augustine, 5 / Copyright Secured for England>, stamped below <MAISON / ALPH. GIROUX>

PR: Maison Alphonse Giroux, Paris

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2009

CM: Jean-Baptiste Colbert (29 August 1619 - 6 September 1683) served as the French minister of finance from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. He was described by Mme de Sévigné as "Le Nord"(The North), because he was cold and unemotional. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy. Historians note that, despite Colbert's efforts, France actually became increasingly impoverished because of the King's excessive spending on wars. Colbert worked to create a favourable balance of trade and increase France's colonial holdings. Historians of mercantilism consider Colbert a key figure. § Colbert's market reforms included the foundation of the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs in 1665 to supplant the importation of Venetian glass (forbidden in 1672, as soon as French glass manufacture was on a sound basis) and to encourage the technical expertise of Flemish cloth manufacturing in France. He also founded royal tapestry works at Gobelins and supported that at Beauvais. Colbert worked to improve the economy via tariffs and the construction of internal improvements. In regard to foreign markets, Colbert aimed to ensure that the French East India Company could obtain coffee, cotton, dyewoods, fur, pepper, and sugar. In addition, Colbert founded a French merchant marine. Colbert issued more than 150 edicts to regulate the guilds. One such law had the intention of improving the quality of cloth. The edict declared that if the authorities found a merchant's cloth unsatisfactory on three separate occasions, they were to tie him to a post with the cloth attached to him. [Megakles Rogakos 12/2009]

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