More than 150 years ago, the ingenuity and talent of jeweler, Charles Christofle opened the doors of some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Today, his name still stands for quality, refinement, and innovative design.
The world-renowned Christofle brand is the very essence of fine silverware. And the lasting success of this French company, which has a presence in more than 70 countries, is based on the unimpeachable quality of its products. It also illustrates how the company has endured through the ages by offering its clientele contemporary collections truly of their time. In addition to the flatware that made the brand’s reputation, and having added sterling silver and stainless steel to its product line, Christofle now offers customers seeking exceptional pieces a full range of holloware, gifts, and decorative accessories, crystal, and even furniture. It was in 1830 when the young Charles Christofle took over his wife’s small family jewellery shop. The talented visionary turned to silverware and acquired two electroplating patents that allowed him to produce gold-plated and silver-plated goods on an industrial scale. The legendary Christofle silver manufacturer was born.
Charles Christofle continued to refine the electroplating process, which made it possible to mass-produce monumental decorative features. The magnificent statues atop the Opéra Garnier in Paris are one outstanding example. Christofle soon became the official provider of table service to King Louis-Philippe and the House of Orléans. This opened doors to other royal courts, and, before long, the Christofle name was known well beyond France and even Europe. The kings may be gone, but the company continues to service the Élysée Palace, official residence of the French President.
Over the years, the brand has remained at the forefront of design, reflecting all the artistic movements of the last centuries: Orientalism and Naturalism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Pop Culture and the new aesthetics. A collection of drawings, sketches, and photographs of various creations, carefully preserved by the company, bears witness to the evolution not only of Christofle, but of tableware and silverware since the 19th century. Christofle has its own studio, where artists at the top of their field ply their creative talents. But the company also commissions renowned artists to create emblematic collections. In 1925, Christofle presented the works of the young Danish artist Christian Fjerdingstad. In 1928, Italian designer Gio Ponti began a fruitful relationship with Christofle that lasted more than 40 years. In 2005, the first Christofle jewellery collection of the 21st was designed by the celebrated Andrée Putman. In 2010, designers Ora-ïto and Marcel Wanders joined this illustrious group.
The company has also been able to maintain industry leadership and an untarnished reputation by never ceasing to hone its technical skills. Since 1970, all Christofle products are made in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Yainville, Normandy. Here, some of the best silversmiths in the world craft items that are inspected by a total of 52 people. Consumers can be confident that they are taking home pieces of outstanding quality that will be the delight and pride of generations to come. Last April, the company announced the launch of a breakthrough technology called Silver Ever. The result of years of research in the Yainville laboratories, the new technique slows oxidation without affecting the colour or lustre of silver or silver plate.
Guaranteed to revolutionize silver-making, Silver Ever is further evidence of the innovative spirit and concern for customer satisfaction that have always been the hallmark of Christofle.