Daniel Cottier:
Designer, Decorator, Dealer

Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Max Donnelly

Publicaton Date
May 2021
Standard Number
Yale University Press
256 pages, 270 x 216mm
200 color + b-w illus.

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 nineteenth-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 realised the economic possibilities of its commoditisation. Beyond biography, therefore, this book illuminates a significant event of late nineteenth-century cultural history – Aestheticism’s cult of beauty meeting with the bourgeoisie’s financial ability to possess it. 

About the authors

  • 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 nineteenth-century furniture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.