The Huguenots were followers of the theologian John Calvin and members of the Protestant Reformed Church in 16th and 17th century France. Because of religious persecution, about half a million Hugeuenots were forced to flee France and settle in countries sympathetic to the Protestant faith, such as England, Scotland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) was a Dutch-born silversmith whose father, a Huguenot, had been forced to leave France in 1685. The de Lamerie family later moved to London where Paul eventually became apprenticed to the Hugeunot goldsmith* Pierre Platel. He established his own business in 1713, and became an acclaimed silversmith, particularly renowned for pieces in the Rococo style.
* goldsmiths were capable of working with both gold and silver.