Christofle, Imperial Goldsmith for Napoléon III
Nov 13, 2019

June, 3th 2022

Central piece - Christofle for Napoléon IIICentral piece - Christofle for Napoléon III

Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte is the nephew of Napoleon 1st, Emperor of the French. 3 years younger than Charles Christofle, he is his perfect contemporary.

In 1848 Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was elected President of the French Republic. And in 1852, after a coup, he proclaimed the Second Empire and became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.

 

As soon as he came to power, he commissioned Christofle for his Parisian residence: the Tuileries.

In 1852, Charles Christofle became « Orfèvre Impérial » (Imperial Silversmith).

Emperor Supplier DiplomaEmperor Supplier Diploma
Christofle Manufacture in ParisChristofle Manufacture in Paris

In 1852, he ordered the Service called “100 covers” because it was intended to serve 100 guests.

The Emperor regularly comes to the Christofle factory to follow the project. This Service is made up of more than 4000 pieces in silver metal! And is over 50 meters long, which represents the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pool!

Christofle for Napoléon IIIChristofle for Napoléon III
Christofle for Napoléon IIIChristofle for Napoléon III
Christofle for Napoléon IIIChristofle for Napoléon III
Christofle for Napoléon IIIChristofle for Napoléon III

The Surtout alone is made up of 121 parts; it is over 2 meters long and 1 meter high.

The Service carries a strong political message: an allegory of France with imperial and republican values: representations of cities, allegorical candelabra, war, peace.

It is presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1855 in Paris, and at a reception with Queen Victoria.

Central piece drawing - Christofle for Napoléon IIICentral piece drawing - Christofle for Napoléon III

“When I came to power, there was no silverware. We wanted to order some, but I was shocked when I was told that it would be a business of more than 5 million. I did not hesitate for a moment, and I asked to have everything executed in Christofle, which came to 5,000 or 6,000 francs.”

 

The next day, the brand is famous throughout Paris. This majestic order will open the doors of European institutions and courts to Christofle.

I did not hesitate for a moment, and I asked to have everything executed in Christofle.
Napoléon III
Napoléon IIINapoléon III
Central piece - Christofle for Napoléon IIICentral piece - Christofle for Napoléon III

In 1871, the Service was destroyed in the fire in the Tuileries. Parts are found in the ruins and offered for purchase at Christofle to be reshapped.

 Christofle bought them, restored them and donated 7 pieces to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris where they can still be admired.

Pharrell
Pharrell Williams

Icône musicale devenue également une icône de la mode, Pharrell Williams est un producteur et artiste surdoué qui pratique la collaboration de longue date avec des artistes musicaux mais également avec de grandes signatures du monde de la mode. Artiste solaire, enthousiaste et lumineux (le jaune est sa couleur fétiche), Pharrell Williams fonctionne instinctivement sur le mode collaboratif.

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