Paris has always been a wonderful city for me. It is a city where I love to live and work. More than that, it is a city where I love to lose myself in the small streets, dead ends, secret courtyards or hidden gardens. I think I could spend my life photographing details of its industrial history, tracking down the entrances to old workshops or elements that simply arouse a certain emotion in me.
And that’s how, while filing photos, I realised that I had in my possession some visuals dedicated to the Parisian jewellery industry. So, it’s nothing spectacular, at least nothing comparable to the article published at the beginning of the site on the Atelier des Cendres. Nevertheless, I wanted to share with you a few things from my latest wanderings… Witnesses of a history that is sometimes still very much alive and sometimes a little forgotten.
For more than a century, La France Horlogère was one of the reference magazines of the watchmaking sector. The magazine, which definitively ceased its activities at the beginning of the 2000s, had its offices in the heart of the Marais (Paris 3), a district well known for its intense jewellery activity. If you pay attention, at 56 rue Beaubourg, the sign still hangs on the façade. Since then, the name has been registered with the INPI, the title has joined the Pégaze Visions group and the magazine L’Officiel Horlogerie-Bijouterie. Photo: Le Gemmologue
Leaving the 9th arrondissement, you can cross the Grand Boulevards and enter the 2nd arrondissement. Head for the rue des petits-carreaux, the Caire district and above all the famous rue Montorgueil, well known to gourmets for its cafés and the Stohrer house, whose rum babas are one of the specialities. But just before succumbing to the pastries, let’s stop at 11 rue des petits-carreaux where the Queillé family, goldsmiths from father to son throughout the 19th century, set up shop in 1874. The company was founded in 1808 by Pierre-François. In 1834, Pierre-François the second of the name took over and set up shop in Faubourg Montmartre. In 1847, Eugène took over. The business remained in operation until 1895 when Antoine Lappara bought the business. Photo : Le Gemmologue
It was while crossing the rue du Temple that I came across this perfectly restored sign. It testifies to the Algier company which set up its jewellery workshop in 1920. Its hallmark is E.A with a mask according to the archives. Photo : The gemmologist
On Rue Charlot, a discreet plaque bears witness to the activity of the goldsmith Depardieu. I couldn’t tell you much more because I couldn’t find any information about the workshop. There are some pieces signed Depardieu-Mazurier which are sometimes sold but I cannot guarantee that it is the same house. If you have any information, let me know, I will complete the article. Photo: The Gemmologist
I invite you to look up during one of your walks in my city. Who knows what you will discover then?
See you soon!