Christofle Silver

Charles Christofle was born in Lyon, France in 1805. As the son of an important silk merchant, in a city known for its silk, his father taught him from a very young age the business that he one day hoped to pass on to his son. His father also assured that he had the very best education possible in Paris. It was there that Charles fell in love with his wife. Quickly the company, backed by Charles's wealthy sister Rosine Bouilhet-Christofle, developed an outstanding reputation for sequins and jewelry components, particularly mother-of-pearl buttons. The company rose to international recognition by producing the crown for Queen Ranavolla of Madagascar.

While Charles continued to work in his parents-in-law jewelry shop, Charles spent many days in his brother-in-law's silversmith workshop in the Marais district of Paris. There he developed his passion for silverwork that would become world famous. His father, his brother-in-law and his parents-in-law instilled in Charles Christofle a demand for high quality, another tradition that has continued throughout the history of the company now run by the sixth generation. Christofle's company motto has always been une seule qualité: la meilleure which can be translated only one quality: the best. The first designer for the company was Mathurin Moreau , followed by Emile Reiber.

CHRISTOFLE ANTIQUE FRENCH SILVER TEA COFFEE POT SERVICE ROCOCO LOUIS XV MONOGRAM
CHRISTOFLE ANTIQUE FRENCH SILVER TEA COFFEE POT SERVICE ROCOCO LOUIS XV MONOGRAM $820.00

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CHRISTOFLE A SEAL GLACON LINO SABATTINI 531 INCHES
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SHORT PURE METAL SILVER CHRISTOFLE FRANCE CIRCA 1980 CASE ORIGINAL
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CHRISTOFLE BEAUTIFUL CLIP GLACON BRILLANCE +++++
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Christofle Sugar Tongs Nips Silver Plated France 16cm Long Chinon Paw Claw
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CHRISTOFLE Ruban Set 4 knife rests
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In 1838, Charles put the whole fortune of the company at risk by buying the exclusive rights to a series of patents held by Count Henri de Ruolz and also patents owned by Georges and Richard Elkington, British goldsmiths. A short six years later Christofle opened their first factory, relying on the patents to produce silverworks that had 92.5 percent silver content, much higher than that of the company's many competitors. Unlike the competitor's products their process involved electrolysis, which was a important departure from traditional gold-plating methods which used mercury. The use of mercury was very time consuming and also proved to be deadly to many working in the competitor's factories. This move allowed Christofle to produce products of a higher quality at a lower price than their competitors.

In 1846, the company expanded its line to include the first Christofle silverware. The company was taken over by Henri Christofle after the death of Charles. Henri soon developed a new marketing strategy relying on the factory's reduced cost of production to market to France's new bourgeoisie, while maintaining an exclusive line for aristocracy. In 1856, the company opened its first retail store. Henri was a marketing genius and soon had the company named the silversmith for Emperor Napoleon III. Henri also worked to expand the company's line to include galvanized metal. This process, known as galvanoplastie, allowed the company to make an exact metallic replica of any object. This was still cheaper than the previous production manner and allowed the company to expand its line even further.

Today, the company remains an important manufacturer of silverware working with designer Christian Dior. The company has been taken private after being traded on the stock exchange for many years.