Important Silversmiths – Puiforcat
Founded in Paris in 1820 by Emile Puiforcat, the firm produced originally silver flatware and cutlery. At the end of the century Louis-Victor Puiforcat shifted the focus of the company to high-end silver pieces, especially reproductions of 18th Century masterpieces.
With his son Jean Puiforcat the company reached its peak of popularity. Jean started his career in 1917 when, after serving in I World War, he took over the family business. He modernised the firm’s style, producing modern silverware inspired by Art Deco and avant-garde sculpture and characterized by geometry, pure and simplified lines and often the use of precious stones and woods.
The Miller’s Antiques Encyclopedia mentions Jean as the “the most important French Art Deco silversmith”.
In 1942 Jean escaped German-held France and moved to Mexico, but he continued his work until his death in 1945 and started exhibiting in the United States.
The family’s ownership of the company ended in 1943 and in 1993 the firm was bought by Hermès.
Today many masterpieces of the Puiforcat collection are part of the Louvre collection, but some can be also seen in international museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Among the most passionate Puiforcat collectors it is worth to mention Andy Warhol, whose silverware collection was sold in Sotheby’s in 1988.