Gustave Eiffel


World famous for his major achievement that is the Eiffel Tower, built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris, Gustave Eiffel is a renown engineer.
He made his first steps during the construction of the Eiffel Bridge in Bordeaux, a 500-meter long bridge that earned him a great success.
Then he built the gigantic Garabit Viaduct, the Maria Pio Bridge in Porto, Portugal, the Budapest train station, and the internal structure of Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty.
The consecration comes in 1889 when the Eiffel Tower is inaugurated. Subsequently, he is hired to build the Porte de France bridge in Grenoble, which he decorates with 68 cast iron dolphins. We presented you two exceptional original dolphins from this bridge in our last blog post "The Object of the Month" .
Today, the name of Eiffel is still internationally known and marks an era, that of great technological innovations.

Alphonse Giroux

Alphonse Giroux is a well-known Parisian brand for toys and precious objects to offer. He is "the prince's merchant", offering a range of luxury products valued by the aristocracy and the upper bourgeoisie. Around 1830, he turned to cabinetmaking, which remained his main business: writing desks, sewing tables, boxes and sewing kits made of precious wood.

Founded in 1799, the shop shines under the Restoration: Louis-Philippe purchases the present he intends to offers to the Duke of Berry’s children, a carriage of gold and crystal, decorated with emeralds and pulled by horses of nacre. At the World’s Fair of 1855, the Empress Eugénie acquires an extraordinary cabinet by Alphonse Giroux, covered with climbing plants in carved linden wood.

Not only known for its luxury furniture and accessories, Alphonse Giroux is interested in optics. He was thus the first manufacturer of kaleidoscopes in 1818 and daguerreotypes in 1839, which he also sold in his Parisian shop.

Mathurin Moreau, sculptor

A famous sculptor, Mathurin Moreau is particularly known for his statues made for the Val d'Osne Foundry , which today remain important public monuments. From their first joint exhibition at the World's Fair of 1855, they won the Gold Medal for the Fountain of Tourny, which today stands on the forecourt of the Quebec Parliament.

He thus becomes a major personality in the decorative arts, and also provides sculpted figures for the goldsmith Christofle. Author of numerous statues of cast iron and bronze, such as Oceania which adorns the forecourt of the Orsay Museum, Mathurin Moreau also left some beautiful marble statues, and many decorative statuettes for the Art Market.

Rewarded in 1855, he regularly won awards at the Annual Salon and at World's Fairs, receiving in 1897 the Medal of Honor of the Salon. Mathurin Moreau continued to sculpt in the early 20th century, and also devoted himself to his duties as mayor of the 19th arrondissement of Paris until his death in 1912.

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

A key figure in the Second Empire, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) produced important bronze, marble and terracotta statuettes. A prolific artist, he made busts of numerous personalities such as Napoleon III or Eugene Delacroix, and characteristic statues of women with mats raised in the manner of Clodion, and adorned with Renaissance costumes.

Wishing to spread the sense of Beauty in everyday life, Carrier-Belleuse is a major figure in the decorative arts, author of designs for candelabra, fireplace grarniture, porcelain vases and other objects combining art with usefulness. He collaborated with Barbedienne, Deniere, Christofle, and became art director of the Manufacture of Sèvres for which he creates original designs.

A recognized and admired artist, he is also responsible for important public commissions such as the Torchs of the Opera House in Palais Garnier and presented at the Salon large marble statues such as the famous Bacchant (1863), which adorned the garden of the Tuileries until 1984.