Christofle - silversmith since 1830
About the brand Christofle
Christofle is one of the world’s leading brands for silver cutlery and silver accessories. The French family business has been a household name for “Arts de la table” for over 150 years. The eclectic Christofle cutlery collection is crowned with refined silver accessories and silver jewellery by famous designers.
Christofle silversmiths and its founder Charles Christofle
In 1830, Charles Christofle founded the company. His maxim was “Only one quality: the best”. From the very beginning, he outlined the requirements that were necessary for him to remain true to his principle: They entailed always using the latest production methods and continuously improving the product quality and thus increasing productivity.
His flair for innovation, technical advances and contemporary design soon made Christofle a pioneer and market leader for silverplated cutlery, silverplated table accessories and silverplated tableware.
Over the years, Christofle has furnished many royal houses, well-known institutions and luxury hotels with its silver cutlery and silver accessories. These have included the Orient Express, Napoleon III's table, the Elysée Palace as well as many sultans' palaces and aristocratic homes around the world.
The company’s creative energy continues unabated to this day. Practically every six months, Christofle thrills aficionados with his new silver creations. The company regularly launches new product lines such as "Vertigo", "Malmaison" or "Atomes d'Argent" that then enter the ranks of Christofle's classic lines.
Silverplated cutlery and silverplated table accessories from Christofle
With the purchase of patents for gold and silverplating metals in 1840, the Christofle jewellery business expanded worldwide to become a well-known name for silver cutlery.
Christofle wanted to offer "un luxe raisonnable", a "sound luxury" - and he managed it too. Thanks to the technology of electro-plating it was possible to produce silverplated cutlery and tableware at an affordable price for the new middle class. There was an enormous demand for silver cutlery - and the "Orfèvrerie Christofle" soon earned an international reputation.
The continuous development of the craft and the new silverplating technology quickly opened up new production and design possibilities for silverplated sculptures, table accessories and the production of custom-made work.
Christofle statues adorn, among other places, the opera in Paris, the Eglise Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille or a state bed for Nawab of Bahawalpur, which entailed working with around 290 kilogram’s of sterling silver.
Christofle’s designers and artists
Christofle attaches great importance to reflecting current trends and designs in its collection. Working together with well-known artists and designers, Christofle has managed to capture the Zeitgeist of every era in its silver collections. Young artists are regularly discovered and supported by the company.
Andrée Putman & the Vertigo collection
The “Grande Dame” of French design created a timeless bestseller line for Christofle with the 20-piece Vertigo range. Andrée Putman’s designs are audacious, strong and modern – and astound with their original and yet unostentatious design elements. The designer remained true to her own style in this Vertigo collection: clear lines, a refined finish and eye-catching features. A characteristic feature of the entire Vertigo line, from the vases, candelabras, dishes and cups to teapots or other table accessories, is an elegantly looped ring. However, the rings do not adhere to any strict rules in terms of arrangement and thus add their own distinctive note to every accessory.
Gio Ponti worked with Christofle for over 50 years (until his death in 1979). That makes the renowned Italian designer and architect Christofle’s – as yet - longest associate. The company has him to thank for creations that are marked by simple, organic and yet poetic style elements. Ponti used both modern and neoclassical elements in his work.
Among the many other artists and designers that contribute to Christofle’s success are: Peggy Huyn Kinh, Ora-Ito, Richard Hutton, Martin Szekely, Clara Halter, Dögg Guomundsdóttir, Adeline Cacheux and Arik Levy.
Silver jewellery from Christofle
In 2005, over 150 years after Charles Christofle turned his jewellery shop into a silversmiths for silver cutlery and silver accessories, Christofle extended its range to include high-quality silver jewellery and thus - to a certain extent - returned to its roots. The glamorous and elegant sterling silver necklaces, bracelets and rings naturally reflect the design flair and reliable sense of style for which the Christofle brand has come to be known. In this area, too, Christofle has again opted to employ the creativity of popular contemporary artists for the design of his high-quality silver jewellery collection. Together with designers, such as Arik Levy, Peggy Huyn Kinh, Andrée Putman, Adeline Cacheaux and Ora-Ito, 20 refined, superior and exquisite silver jewellery lines have appeared under the label "L'Esprit d'Argent".