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Christofle; An Historical Outline by patrick Today, mention of the name Christofle evokes both the elegance of a bygone era and the concept of innovative modern design. The story of this renowned firm dates from when the young Charles Christofle took the reins of his family's small jewelry workshop in the Marais district of Paris. Plaque, Antoine Tard 19th Cent. Rosine Bouilhet-Christofle, Charles used his keen managerial skills to enlarge the enterprise and win commissions at home in France and from as far afield as Madagascar and South America. A business visionary, Charles made a brilliant strategic move came in when he negotiated a license giving him the French rights to the electroplating patents of George and Richard Elkington of Birmingham, England.
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No other company in the world made such marking. Indeed, Christofle had even two numberings. The first one was used from c. A coffee-pot, issued c. I have in my collection a tea-pot with the inscription "Grand Hotel du Louvre" and the ordinal number , see Fig.
The fact that it is a precious metal distinguishes it from other media such as porcelain, wood, and glass, which do not have inherent value. The monetary value of silver usually meant that objects made in silver had more than just a utilitarian purpose; they were also signs of wealth and status, and as such, often reflected the latest style. Silver could be melted down and refashioned, and as the value of a silver object in the eighteenth century lay more in the metal than in the craftsmanship, pieces of silver thought to be out of date were often melted and transformed into something more fashionable. French silver was also subject to the various fiscal crises of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; both Louis XIV and Louis XV issued edicts demanding that silver be brought to the mint for melting, the resulting silver to be used to replenish depleted state treasuries.