Le Normandie
Jan 1, 2020

29 May 1935, Port of Havre. Sirens blare from Le Normandie cruise liner. One of the first floating palaces takes off for America. In the felted atmosphere of the dining rooms, no less than 40 000 pieces of silversmith from the Maison Christofle await the most fortunate visitors. 

Contemporary, nothing but contemporary

The adventure begins in 1933 with the first drawings by Luc Lanel, creator of the Maison Christofle collections. Inspired by the sphere, which is quite elongated, this is innovative in an era where lines are square and angled. Each piece of silversmith, like in hotels, is made of silver metal to withstand the test of time.


For the event, Luc Lanel stylized the CGT logo, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. The three letters are interwoven in a harmonious pattern on each page. As with the rest of the Maison's collections, the Christofle hallmark is used till the smallest of the covers. 

Luxe, calm, and beautiful journey

If passenger sea transportation to America began at the end of the 19th century, it will take until the early 20th century for it to take off. However, the travel conditions have nothing to do with today's maritime transportation.


Le Normandie, inspired by the Titanic of 1912, is designed as a floating castle. Passengers discover the luxury of France's finest maisons on board. The splendor of crystal, the elegance of porcelain, and, without a doubt, Christofle, the most valuable of all silversmiths.


Passengers adore the collection designed by Luc Lanel. Christofle quickly incorporates it into his catalog so that his customers can have the pieces of silvermith that have accompanied them on their journey at home. 

A rescued collection

En août 1939, à l’aube de la seconde guerre mondiale, le paquebot est réquisitionné pour devenir un hôpital. Mobilier, décoration et orfèvrerie sont évacués du Normandie. La Maison Christofle, ne pouvant se résoudre à voir disparaître son immense collection, se décide à la racheter. Mise à l’abri en France, certaines pièces équiperont le nouveau paquebot France en 1962.  


Aujourd’hui encore, il n’est pas rare de découvrir lors de ventes aux enchères, des couverts, une cloche ou une timbale issus du fameux service des 40 000 pièces du mythique paquebot Normandie. Une belle occasion de toucher du doigt une collection plus que centenaire mais toujours très actuelle.