Place des Arts-Christofle
Exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco
from 16th December 2010 to 2nd January 2011
at 12.00 - 19.00
The "Place des Arts, initiated in 2007 by the Grimaldi Forum, is a tribute to those crafts which have long contributed to the wealth of "Made in France ". After exhibitions of Sèvres porcelain and crystal by Baccarat, the Grimaldi Forum has dedicated the rest of the year to Christofle: works of high class silver on show in the large conservatory.
This exhibition will have lectures on the history, heritage and the creation of this prestigious house. Christofle are specialists in top of the range tableware. It is such a luxury brand with a very high price tag. With a combination of traditional elitism and contemporary trends, these creations have a place on the table, in the home and also as jewellery pieces.
The exhibition "Place des Arts ... Christofle, is produced by the Grimaldi Forum Monaco and designed by teams at the Grimaldi Forum.
The Curator: Anne Gros, head of the Museum and Christofle Archives
Scenography: William Chatelain
Graphics: Alfonso Ciulla
Manager: Thierry Vincent Place :
Venue: Grimaldi Forum Monaco 10 avenue Princesse Grace - 98000 Monaco
Web Sites: Grimaldi Forum Monaco: www.grimaldiforum.mc
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. except Dec. 25, 2010 and January 1, 2011.
Théière Aéro - Design Gio Ponti et Lino Sabattini, 1957 - Christofle - Photo Vincent Thibert
If you visit before Christmas, you can take advantage and purchase some Christofle gifts in the boutique next to the exhibition.
The exhibition features over two hundred pieces most of whom come from the heritage collections of Christofle dating back from 1850 until today: decorative pieces, from catering to designer pieces. Exceptional service set from the Collections of the Palace, pieces created specifically for the Societe des Bains de Mer and the table lighter Bolide of course, designed by Jean Michel Folon showing the links Christofle has with the Principality of Monaco.
The name Christofle evokes the elegance of the past and the contemporary flavours of the modern world. Christofle's history dates back to 1830. It was Charles Christofle that changed the family firm when he took over from his family who owned a jewellery workshop in Paris.
Together with the financial assistance of his sister, Rosine Bouilhet-Christofle, he spent ten years in expanding the business by being awarded commissions in France, Madagascar and South America.
After negotiating a license to allow him to patent his work, this opened the doors to Christofle being the legend it is today as a silversmiths. Christofle was always about quality. His reputation gained him commissions for Emperor Napoleon III of France, the Sultan Abdulaziz of the Ottoman Empire and later for Emperor Maximilian of Mexico.
Charles Christofle died in 1863. The small jewelry workshop became an industrial world leader of silverware manufacture with plants in France and Germany and retail outlets throughout Europe and in North, Central & South America and the Russian & Ottoman Empires.
The family business continued and went from strength to strength. The Gallia line was created. This trademark name applied to a new alloy, similar to pewter but more durable, Gallia metal was ideally suited to casting and less expensive to manufacture and plate. The Gallia line opened a new market of high quality goods at more affordable prices.
Difficult times almost brought Christofle to an end but thanks to Tony Bouilhet who inherited the business in 1932, a true revival began. His wife Carla Borletti had exceptional taste and used her influence to guide the firm into commissioning designs from some of the most gifted industrial designers, architects and sculptors of the 20th century.
The company continued to expand throughout the 20th centuryand by its end, Christofle was operating 75 Pavillon Christofle retail stores as well as Christofle in-store Boutiques in 400 larger department stores located in 120 countries.
In 1993, Tony and Carla's son, Albert Bouilhet, who had headed the company since 1968, asked his young first cousin, Maurizio Borletti, to lead the firm. Today, Christofle is in the hands of the family's 5th generation and continues their tradition as purveyors of fine design and superior quality in elegant tableware.
Past meets Present