The nineteenth century knows a great trend of objects plated with malachite, a beautiful intense green mineral, whose appearance resembles a veined marble. Used as a block for small objects, the technique of the "Russian mosaic" allows, from the end of the 18th century, to cover large surfaces of malachite, for luxurious and original commissions.
Indeed, Siberia supplies the precious mineral in great quantity, which enables the Royal Russian lapidary factories to develop this new technique. In 1808, Tsar Alexander I gave Napoleon a set of works in malachite, rare and extraordinary presents that adorn the Emperor’s Room at the Trianon, now called the Hall of Malachites.
The beautiful stone was then popularized in the decorative arts, for the decoration of all types of objects, and especially in the aristocratic interiors of St. Petersburg. Hence, by ordering a malachite veneer for the fireplace of her room in the Champs-Elysees, the Marquise de Paiva added a Russian touch to her Parisian Hotel.
Our custom-made fireplace workshop Maison & Maison conceived the Louis XV style fireplace “Païva” in this spirit:
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