The art and craft of haute orfevrerie – the high end of goldsmithing or silversmithing – together with an intriguing juxtaposition of materials lies behind the new collection from Christofle, which has been produced in collaboration with French artist Eric Schmitt. Celeste d’Eric Schmitt is the first by a contemporary artist and each limited-edition piece of Celeste (meaning ‘heavenly’) bears Schmitt’s signature.
The much-acclaimed artist, who lives and works at the edge of the Fontainebleau forest, 60km south-east of Paris, is modest about his achievements. “I could sum up my work as the consequence of the architect that I will never be, the sculptor that I nearly was and the designer that I am not," he says, surely with his tongue tucked somewhere in his cheek.
“My aim is to be timeless in harmony with the classic materials I use," Schmitt adds. He works with a team, collaborating with architects, interior designers and landscape designers on private or public projects and is known for his modern take on the French decorative arts. Centerpiece, which is limited to 50 pieces, comprises a silver-plated bowl on a separate stand made from rare Borghini marble. The bowl is entirely handmade in Cristofle’s workshops in France. Centerpiece is priced at €7,500, The Celeste box trinket tray (€8,500) is limited to only 12 pieces. Here, the bowl is plated in silver and the cover is made from Borghini marble.
The bowl is actually a double box. The marble cover can be removed to reveal the first box, and for the second, the silver-plated curved top can be lifted to separate it from the bowl. Adding to the collection are small votive candles in silver or brass candleholders at €120 each. In addition to being signed, each limited-edition piece is also numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.