French ivory sculptor
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Portrait of Le Marchand with ivory bust
David le Marchand's father and brothers were artists and ivory craftsmen. He was born in Dieppe, France (then the international center for ivory carving) in 1674. When David le Marchand was ten, the Edict of Nantes was revoked. This Edict provided religious freedom for Protestants in France. David le Marchand and his family then moved to Britain. In 1696, he opened his own ivory shop in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Queen of Heaven
In 1699, his competitor ivory artist Jean Cavalier died in London. David le Marchand probably moved to London in 1700. Shortly after moving to London, David le Marchand gained the patronage of King George I and Queen Anne. He did portraits in ivory of every major important English man and woman of his time, including John Locke and Sir Isaac Newton.
John Locke, 18th century
David le Marchand had a long and close relationship with the Raper family, several generations of which ran the Bank of England. He did many portraits in ivory of the Rapers and their circle, including one of Sir John Houblon that is currently on the £50 note.
Caritas (love) Ivory relief
Sir Isaac Newton, 1718
Sir Isaac Newton (side profile), 1718
Despite his enormous success, David le Marchand died in London's French hospital for paupers in 1726.
George I, 1700
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Sir Christopher Wren