Emile Peyre was a notable Parisian collector of medieval and renaissance artefacts. In 1895 the South Kensington Museum bought over 300 pieces of furniture and woodwork from him, as well as sculpture and metalwork.
Emile Peyre was born in 1824. He was a notable and prolific collector of mostly French medieval and renaissance artefacts. in 1889, John Pollen, who visited Peyre to report on the collection for the South Kensington Museum, observed that it ‘fills a large house, 124 Avenue Malakhoff, from ground floor literally to attic – Rooms, passages, stair wells &c.’ He described Peyre as a ‘Decorative Architect’ who had fitted and furnished the interiors of many Parisian collectors.
In 1895 the South Kensington Museum bought over 300 pieces of furniture and woodwork from him, as well as sculpture and metalwork, at a cost of £11,878. 16s. 9d. In 1897, Peyre sold Isabella Stewart Gardner, the wealthy American arts patron, 30 objects.
Peyre died at his Paris home in 1904, aged 76, leaving nearly 4,000 works to the newly-founded Musée des Arts Décoratifs, along with his personal fortune (of nearly one million francs) and his papers.
Information in the V&A Archive
MA/1/P1086/1-3: Nominal file – Emile Peyre
MA/2/P7/4: Purchases by officers on visits abroad, 1897-1903
MA/30/174-75: Central inventory register, museum object numbers, 468 to 896-1895
List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1895. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: HMSO, 1897.
Other archival sources
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, papers
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Archives, Boston, Emile Peyre 10 items, 1897-1901. 5:1, Dealer Receipts
Selected printed works
‘The Musée Des Arts Décoratifs.’ The Times. 1 November 1905
Migeon, Gaston. ‘Le Musée des arts decoratifs et la collection Emile Peyre.’Gazette des Beaux Arts, 2nd ser., 34 (1905): 5-25. NAL pressmark: PP.72.B-D
Blanc, Monique. Retables. Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1998. NAL pressmark: NC.98.1716
To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.