Christofle (Maison)

Maison Christofle came into existence in 1830 when Charles Christofle took over his father-in-law Hugues Calmette’s business. In 1832 he registered his own hallmark at the Garantie de Paris as a jeweler. Christofle focused on massive export strategy all over the world and in the 1840s became one of the greatest French jewelers. He acquired patents in order to produce on a large scale gilded and silvery metals by means of electrolysis. In 1845 he was appointed master goldsmith. Maison Christofle supplied embassies and ministries worldwide as well as luxury travel companies. In 1851 Christofle developed Galvanoplasty, a technique which enables large scale production of exceptional or oversized pieces like the statue of Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseilles in 1869. By the end of 19th century, Maison Christofle produced only silver plate pieces, and supplied the emperor Napoleon III, the emperor of Mexico or the czar of Russia. Nowadays Maison Christofle is one of the leading companies in goldsmith’s trade.