Ballin, Claude

, born at Paris, in 1615, was the son of a goldsmith, and became a goldsmith himself. He began to be known in the time of cardinal Richelieu, who bought of him four large silver basons, on which Ballin, hardly 19 years old, had curiously represented the four ages of the world. The cardinal, who was never weary of admiring these masterpieces of workmanship, employed him to make four vases, from the antique, to match with the basons. Ballin brought ins art to the summit of perfection. He executed for Louis XIV. silver tables, girandoles, sophas, lustres, vases, &c. But that monarch was obliged to convert them all into money, to supply the expences of the tedious war that was terminated by the peace of Ryswic. Several works by this great artist are still, or were formerly, at Paris, at St. Denys, and at Pontoise, of singular beauty and delicacy. On the death of Varin, being appointed to the direction of the dies for striking medals and counters, he shewed in these littte works the same taste he had displayed in the larger. To the beauties of the antique he added the graces of the moderns. He died the 22d of Jan. 1678, at the age of 63. He had scarcely ever been out of Paris and gave a proof that foreign travel is not always necessary in order to excel in the fine arts. Launoi, a kinsman of Ballin by marriage, an excellent goldsmith, and an expert designer, made drawings of almost all the works of his relation, previous to the sale of them, by Louis XIV. 2


Perrault Les Jlommes Illustre;. Dict. Hit,