Louis-Constant Sévin

Great connoisseur of Greek, Assyrian, Persian, Chinese, and Gothic and Renaissance motifs, Louis-Constant Sévin (1821-1888) draws designs of admired precious objects. As a major ornamentalist of the second half of the 19th century, he tastes glory by putting his creativity at the service of the great workshops of Ferdinand Barbedienne and the chiseling of Désiré Attarge.

Indeed, the name of Sévin is inseparable from that of Barbedienne. From 1855 to 1888, the two men collaborated in remarkable works, and triumphed at all the World’s Fairs. When the Jury of the 1878 World's Fair made Barbedienne an Officer of the Legion of Honor for their Great Clock, today at the Paris City Hall, the latter refused this distinction and gave it to Constant Sévin.

Together they conceived bronzes for sovereigns like the King of Holland, the King of the Belgians, or the Queen of England.

Rudolf Weyr

In the radiant Vienna of the late 19th century, Rudolf Weyr (1847-1914) was a master of sculpture. Discovery of the Universal Exhibition in 1873, he benefited from the extraordinary development of the Austro-Hungarian capital after the stock market crash, and became one of the best sculptors of the Empire.

Author of numerous monuments in Vienna, his most famous work is undoubtedly Die Macht zur See (“The power on the sea”, 1894), a monumental fountain depicting the allegory of the Empire taming the waves and sea monsters. These stunning sculptures make him a major figure in the Neo-Baroque style. In other works, Weyr shows a sensitivity to Germanic folklore.

The Empress Sissi appealed to him for the sculpture of the pediments of the Villa Hermès in 1884, then the Emperor Franz Joseph I will solicit him in 1898 to carry out his full-length statue.

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.