The nephew, pupil and successor of Pierre Silvestre in Lyon, Hippolyte was the son of Pierre’s sister, and his surname was in fact Chrétien; he added the Silvestre name later on inheriting the family business in 1865. He was born in Sommerviller in 1845 and trained at first in Mirecourt before returning to Lyon, and moved the shop to Paris in 1884, in the rue Faubourg-Poissonière. He met Ernest Maucotel in Moscow in 1891, which led to them forming the partnership of ‘Silvestre and Maucotel’, which, after Hippolyte’s death in 1913, became ‘Maucotel and Deschamps’, in the rue de Rome. Silvestre maintained a close and cordial relationship with W.E. Hill & Sons in London, the two firms frequently acting in partnership. Silvestre’s own work amply demonstrates the finesse typical of Parisian work of the period, and consists of very accurately observed copies of classical Cremonese masters.
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