Daniel Cottier Designer, Decorator, Dealer Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Max Donnelly, Andrew Montana, Suzanne Veldink

Publication date:
25 May 2021
Paul Mellon Centre
256 pages: 270 x 216mm
200 color + b-w illus.


The story of an innovative designer and farsighted art entrepreneur and the important role he played in the dissemination of 19th-century Aestheticism

This book follows the phenomenal rise of Daniel Cottier (1838–91) from an apprentice coach painter in Glasgow to the founder of Cottier & Co., a fine and decorative arts business with branches on three continents. This gifted designer and brilliant art entrepreneur keenly spotted one of the key aspects of late 19th-century bourgeois culture—its focus on family, home, and church—and seized the artistic and commercial opportunities of the building and decorating boom that it brought about. Cottier was a proponent of Aestheticism, an international trend in the history of culture, art, and design from about 1860 to 1900: he understood the era’s desire for beauty and realized the economic possibilities of its commoditization. Beyond biography, therefore, this book illuminates a significant event of late 19th-century cultural history— Aestheticism’s cult of beauty meeting with the bourgeoisie’s financial ability to possess it. 

Petra ten-Doesschate Chu is professor emeritus, Seton Hall University, and is a founding editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. Max Donnelly is curator of 19th-century furniture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.