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tline3open  Christofle factory / Halphen / Ruolz

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Author Topic:   Christofle factory / Halphen / Ruolz

Posts: 625
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 06-10-2003 12:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Continued from L'Orfèvrerie Alfénide.
Posted by Arg(um)entum

Of course, I have a few more questions:

" ... Christofle constructed the most modern nickel factory in France ..."
What does 'nickel factory' mean? Nickel is mined, then the ore refined, after which it goes into various alloys. What did the Chr. factory do? Produce the alloy, sheets, blanks or the finished and plated flatware?

What is Halphen's contribution to the alloy as opposed to Maillot et Chorier?

What about Ruolz? Does it mention either the man or the products and processes named after him? Christofle supposedly acquired patents both from the Elkingtons and from Druoz - any info on that? What was the difference in the processes?

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2003 02:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Druoz? Tell me more.

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2003 04:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doobees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
-What does a nickel factory do?

(Not that I know any of this firsthand, but according to the Dossier de l'Art information - and bear in mind that this is a translation, so not exactly quoted in many cases, but I'm confident in the translation and feel it's correct in content!)

"Nickel is the metal that gives Maillechort its quality. It was expensive and rare until the discovery of a new mine in New Caledonia at the end of the 1860s.The mines could be made good use of thanks to Christofle, who put in place a process for treating the metal by constructing, at St. Denis Paris, the only factory for the treatment and production of nickel that existed in France between 1876 and 1898."

-What did the factory do?
"Within the St. Denis nickel factory complex, Christofle constructed in 1878 the most modern fabricator of cutlery (also referred to as "silverware"). Since that date, the Christofle silverware has been fabricated entirely by Christofle. The Yainville factory was dedicated entirely to fabricating cutlery pieces in 1971.

-What is Halphen's contribution to the alloy as opposed to Maillot and Chorier?

"Maillot and Chorier invented Maillchort and patented it on June 22, 1827. Starting in 1853, a new industrial process had been invented by Français Levallois and this was put into use by Charles Haplhen. This new process allowed the fabrication of huge series of cutlery that could be plated later. Up to this point, Christofle's cutlery was made one by one and could not keep up with demand. Christofle was reluctant to mass produce his own pieces. At the time, he was a bit restless to go on to some other type of metal work. Since the new production method required a heavy financial investmant, Christofle signed a contract with Halphen, (who was already making maillechort cutlery at his rue de Bondy factory.)Under this agreement, cutlery for Christofle was designed by Christofle, Halphen produced the unplated maillechort pieces and then Christifle did the plating."

-What about Roulz? The man, the product the process?
Sorry, no mention of Roulz...

-Christofle supposedly acquired patents by Elkington and Druoz. Any info on that?

Not specifically - but as for the metals used by Christofle it states:
"Christofle was a specialist in metalwork. In addition to silver and gold, Christofle used a number of other metals and alloys.
They included Maillechort, nickel, brass, copper - as well as:
-"Gallia," in 1900, which has a base of tin and was melted and poured into molds to be later plated like maillechort or polished.
-"L'étain" (pewter) - a pewter workshop was installed at the factory for designer C. Fjerdingstad in 1926.
-"L'acier (steel, which was originally used for knives then also used for other pieces in the 1930s and had a true renaissance in 1960 with delux stainless steel pieces being sold alongside Christofle's silver pieces.
- Aluminum... very little was produced around 1855 so it was very expensive - more so than gold or silver. Christofle began making pieces of aluminum, but when the price of aluminum dropped, they started to loose the prestige associated with the Christofle name and so stopped using aluminum. The used it again in 1930-40 because of the good price! "

-What about the "smelly goat's head?"
I cannot see (or smell) even a hint of goat's head in this whole document. Though if goat is your cup of tea get to our Sunday fresh market very, very early... those things fly off the shelf... no joke!

Christofle marks:
For sterling: the Tête de Minerve(1)indicating fineness of 925%, along with the Bee, three stars and either O C or C C depending on the date.

For exported sterling: The initials O C, the bee the three stars and the fineness of the silver. Ex: 925

For métal argenté, silverplate:Scales, bee, three stars, O C or C C and two sprigs of laurel.

For maillechort: diamond containing one star, métal blanc, C C and the bee.

For Gallia: standing rooster facing left in large shield and words Gallia Metal under the shield.

Want more? Photos?

Suzanne D

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2003 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Arg(um)entum     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great stuff again, Suzanne! I will need time to digest it all.

Ruolz that is the name that I seem to have difficulty with. First I searched vainly for Ruoz, then when Stephen provided the proper spelling (in a quote of Tardy of all places) I found some information. And now I misspelled him again. It isn't Ruoz, nor Druoz, nor Roulz - it's Ruolz redface

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2003 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doobees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just asked at Christofle and Mme. Gros there said they did use a goat's head mark... I'll give more info after I actually go there, since I did not catch all the dates and info that she was giving me over the phone in french...
(See the new goat's head post started by Stephen)

Suzanne D

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iconnumber posted 08-03-2003 06:44 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Madame,

I located your email address and expertise in silverware on a website. I am trying to discover information about Christofle silvermarks. I read your posting regarding silver, silverplate, and so forth. I have three different kinds of flatware. Please let me know of any good websites for photos of marks and designs so that I am able to learn more about what I have.

knives: I have ten knives that are very heavy and have carbon acier blades. The mark in a diamond and has scales, CC, bee below the scales, two stars above the scales and either a six-petalled flower or star between the scales.

Spoon and fork: soup spoon with large fork, oval containing CC, two stars above, bee below, and number 84 between the scale pans.

forks and spoons: fidelio pattern, I think. Mark: CC, four stars above scale, number 72 between scale pans, bee with two branches or something coming out either side, all in an oval

Any help you can render, I would be extremely appreciative. If you can recommend any books dealing with Christofle marks, I would appreciate that information as well.

Thank you!

andy dailey

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