COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
PUIFORCAT

Courtesy of Sotheby’s Paris

“A work of art must in its modest sphere elevate the soul by its beauty.” Jean Puiforcat

Very few people have patience for history. Most find it boring, futile and irrelevant. I challenge these views. For evidence, I present you with the example of Louis Victor Puiforcat, a French metal smith of the 18th century, who was fascinated with the history of the every day object.

Louis Victor collected the odd fork, hunting knife, and teaspoon of the early 17th century. He ended up with a collection of about 300 rare objects, which he studied well. Being an excellent craftsman and creative mind, Louis Victor applied what he learned from studying the past to his own production of silver utensils and decorative objects.

The love affair between historical designs and current trends that reflect new customs continued in the Puiforcat atelier with Louis Victor’s son Jean, who was equally gifted as a craftsman and even more imaginative as a designer.  The first Puiforcat store opened in Paris in 1820, a century before Jean would launch his own career in the Parisian scene and its art of entertaining.  The power of design principles that stem from the Art Déco years, when Jean was the most productive, are still used in contemporary Puiforcat designs available today through luxury retailers and at auctions.

© Thomaï Serdari