Founded in 1830, Christofle is the most renowned name in French flatware. Whether contemporary or classic, whether its contours are rounded or architectural, Christofle flatware is manufactured to exacting standards: Every piece of Christofle flatware must pass through 52 people, an impressive process known as “100 hands.” Amazingly, they’re also easy to use — every piece of Christofle flatware is designed to be dishwasher safe.
Each Christofle pattern has a fascinating story behind its design and creation. Here, we’d like to share the stories behind all of Christofle’s current flatware collections with you.
Named after the French city of Albi, this collection was inspired by the straight, pure lines of Albi’s cathedral, which is renowned for its remarkable architecture and single nave. The perfect all-purpose model, it includes the most complete range and goes with every style of dinnerware.
Style: Art Deco
In the years following World War I, America was the country that through its music, literature and lifestyle, best symbolized freedom and victory for the French. As a tribute, Christofle named this collection “America.” This architectural model, with cut-off corners, is characteristic of the Art Deco style and was presented at the International Exposition of Arts & Techniques in 1937. Harmonizes beautifully with all dinnerware patterns, but goes particularly well with plates with broad rims, modern ornamentation, and geometric designs.
Christofle revolutionized flatware styles with this model. Often imitated, Aria is characterized by its elegance, its fine fluting on the stem, and wide transversal rings. Taking its cue from antique columns and the draping of Roman togas, it goes with all dinnerware styles.
Designed by Bernard Yot (whose initials are featured in the name of the collection), BY features pure lines accentuating the play of contemporary volumes. The unexpected twist in the knife creates a beautiful new balance.
This model features “shoulders” on the handle and very sober ridges. It marries well with all classic dinnerware styles. Chinon was previously known as “Filet” or “Vieux Paris.”
Style: Louis XIII
A very discreet and timeless collection, ideal for engraving initials or coats of arms. Cluny dates back to Christofle‘s first catalog in 1862 when it was known as “Uni,” stressing the absence of any decorative elements. It still maintains an overall Louis XIII feel and goes particularly well with dinnerware decorated with colored stripes and stylized floral patterns.
Style: Art Deco
Christofle presented this pattern at the Milan Triennial in 1951. This model is typical of the aesthetic revival of the first half of the century and can be considered Art Deco. Its sobriety and the purity of its lines are heightened by a decoration of center links at the base of the bowl of the spoon, the tines of the fork and the knife blade. The same ornamentation, in a smaller version, is found at the base of the flatware’s handles, balancing the composition.
Style: Pure, simple lines
Named after a Beethoven opera that expresses the tenderness between a young couple, Fidelio symbolizes refined simplicity and sensuality. Decorated with a central rib in relief. Harmonizes with floral motifs and dinnerware with colored stripes and rims.
Style: Naturalist classic
A reinterpretation inspired by an ornamental motif created by Nicolas Cornu in 1775, the double interlacing creates harmony in movement. Elegant, modern and luxurious. Goes well with all styles of dinnerware.
Style: Art Deco
An Art Deco collection with elaborated lines.
Designed by Marcel Wanders, Jardin d’Eden is an intricate pattern characterized by interlacing vines, plants and flowers and named after the most famous garden in history. Handles and backs are decorated with a single engraving, like a ballerina’s leg garbed in embroidered hosiery. Fine striping outlines the contour of each item.
L’AME DE CHRISTOFLE
Designed by Spanish designer Eugeni Quitllet, L’Ame de Christofle features tapered handles, voluptuous curves and polished sheen, but these pieces also reflect a nod to the artist’s love for coffee on Barcelona patios, tapas gatherings and sweet post-siesta treats. L’Ame introduces three new pieces to Christofle‘s flatware portfolio: a “palillo” (cocktail pick), an espresso stirrer, and an ice cream spoon.
One of Christofle’s most historic patterns, Malmaison typifies the Empire style, with its frieze of delicate palm and lotus leaves and symmetrical design. The name is a nod to the Malmaison château, the favorite residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine. Harmonizes with dinnerware sporting thin bands and relatively sober patterns.
Style: Louis XV
Named after a palace built by Louis XIV outside Paris, Marly has been one of the most detailed and ornate patterns in Christofle’s catalog since it was created in 1897. The fine chasing is an exquisite example of Rocaille with its asymmetrical plant and shell motifs. This pattern expresses the lavish refinement of the French table and is characteristic of the Louis XV style. Harmonizes with floral motifs, Louis XV-style plates and dinnerware decorated with thin stripes.
ORIGINE & ORIGINE MAT
Origine was created for those who find beauty in simplicity and shun more ornate designs. Instead of etchings, gilding or embellishments, it relies on clean lines, matte and mirror finishes, short flared blades and generously rounded handles.
Grooved reeds held by a double center link spreading out into a harmonious fan. All roundness and softness, the refined details of its discreet ornamentation give this design its serene beauty. Osiris is a hymn to nature, evoking the aquatic and plant worlds. Its timeless elegance makes it ideal for all beautiful tables.
Style: Louis XVI
Inspired by the beaded ornamentation so typical of the Louis XVI style, the beads are arranged so that – like a classic pearl necklace – they grow smaller toward the top of the handle. Harmonizes with dinnerware with narrow stripes, wide flowered or solid color bands and Louis XVI-style floral motifs.
RENAISSANCE (Available by special order)
Based on the 16th-century Renaissance style, this model is Christofle’s most finely worked. The manufacture of this flatware requires the use of several silversmith techniques: stamping, casting, assembly and chasing. No other silversmith in the world offers a comparable model.
Style: Louis XVI
Characteristic of the Louis XVI style, crossed ribbons along the edge of the flatware end in a bow. Complements dinnerware featuring narrow colored stripe or passementerie decorations.
Style: Louis XV
Spatours is a word invented by Christofle which combines “spatula,” the term for the end of a piece of flatware, and “contour,” which can describe a sinuous or curved line, like that of this model. The slender ridge and curve were common decorative elements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Harmonizes with dinnerware decorated with a narrow stripe or floral motifs.
Like this post? Sign up for our email list to get news and special offers!