|Headquarters||9 rue ROYALE
79008 PARIS, Paris, France
Number of locations
|More than 900 points of sale in 70+ countries worldwide including Christofle boutiques, partner locations and shop in shops with major retailers.|
|Products||Silverware, Jewelry, Personal Accessories, Décor, Flatware, Hollowware|
Number of employees
Christofle is a manufacturer of fine silver based in France with a long-standing reputation as a symbol of luxury and refinement. It was founded in 1830, when jeweler Charles Christofle (1805–63) assumed management of a jewelry workshop belonging to his wife's family. In addition to Christofle’s famed flatware collections offered in silverplate, sterling and stainless steel, the brand’s current product lines include: hollowware, gifts and decorative accessories, crystal, porcelain, furniture and sterling silver jewelry. With locations in more than 70 countries, Christofle maintains its proud heritage, uniting time-tested excellence with a modern spirit of creativity.
In 1842, Charles Christofle looked to expand his family’ s jewelry work shop as he licensed early electroplating patents from Lord Elkington and Comte Henri de Ruolz. He soon achieved considerable commercial success plating hollowware and flatware. As the sole holder of the patents for gilding without mercury in France, Charles Christofle was the first to introduce electroplating of gold and silver in that region. By 1851, he was well established as the leading gold and silver-plater in the country. Christofle later pioneered research into industrial applications for electricity, which led to the development of solid and in-the-round galvanoplasty and electroplating, exceptional examples of which include the statues atop the Opéra Garnier in Paris. Christofle also created processes to perfect patinas, enamels, brass and lacquer finishes.
Soon Christofle became the official provider of table service to King Louis-Philippe and the House of Orléans. By the 1850s, Christofle was exhibiting his work in international expositions, consistently winning medals of Honor as well as critical praise. This recognition led to important commissions from Napoleon III and Maximilian of Mexico, thus cementing the firm’s status of silversmith to kings. Christofle has remained at the forefront of the decorative arts by fostering constant creative renewal and perfecting new techniques. Thousands of pieces and documents (photos, sketches, prints) spanning nearly two hundred years are safeguarded in Christofle’s archives, demonstrating the evolution of silversmithing and chronicling the arts of the table from the 19th century onward.
This patrimony spans the major artistic movements, from Historicism to Naturalism, Orientalism, Japonism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the new aesthetics from the mid-20th century through the early 21st century. From the outset, Christofle, in addition to its in-house design studio, has partnered with illustrators, sculptors and decorative artists to create exceptional objects and collections. Artists and designers such as Christian Fjerdingstad, Luc Lanel, Gio Ponti, Lino Sabattini and more recently Andrée Putman, Martin Szekely, Ora-Ïto and Marcel Wanders are among the notable collaborators whose creations have been produced by Christofle.
Exceptional pieces continue to be made in an haute orfevrerie atelier within the company's manufacturing facility in Yainville, Normandy utilizing techniques entirely done by hand according to traditional methods. Christofle currently counts two "Meilleurs Ouvriers de France" in the disciplines of planishing and chasing within their roster. Veritable "living treasures," Christofle Master Silversmiths are the guardians of the craft’s longevity and know-how.
An enduring symbol of luxury and refinement, silver continues to be a primary medium for expression. Christofle in the 21st century maintains its position as the foremost leader in the art of silver by exploring revolutionary design and craftsmanship techniques. The brand has recently debuted SILVEREVER, a groundbreaking treatment that measurably slows the oxidation of silver and silver plate. Christofle is the first brand in the home category to implement this process that ensures treated products conserve their luster with an invisible protection that delays the tarnishing process yet does not alter the appearance and shine of silver.
The Musée Bouilhet-Christofle is a private museum in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
- The History of Silver, Claude Blair, Ballantine Publishing Group, 1987
- Modern Art of Metalwork: Brohan-Museum Collection VI, Berlin, 2001
- Christofle: A legend revisited, Sibel Dorsan, Diplomat Monthly Magazine, June 2006
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