Flambeaux Vénitiens by Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil

A journey between Paris and the Serenissima

For 20 years, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil has excelled in the restoration, reproduction and creation of exceptional pieces of silverware. At the head of the RICHARD Orfèvre workshop since 2012, this silversmiths' enthusiast has kept his childlike eyes when faced with candlelight.

« The atmosphere of a dinner lit exclusively by candlelight is incomparable and sublimes the guests »

His love of beauty was fulfilled when the Parisian craftsman met Venice. He quickly fell under the spell of these large Venetian glass chandeliers.

Faced with this new material, the silversmith nourishes his curiosity in various museums and readings. The revelation came when he saw 18th century objects and candlesticks made of filigree glass. This is what led Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil to declare his love for the City of the Doges.

For the occasion, he has designed a series of candlesticks which combine his silversmith's talents with those of the Murano glass masters and which will be presented in Venice.

« Venice has always been a source of inspiration for me. I go there regularly to recharge my batteries and get inspired. It is truly the soul of this project. »

The reward of patience

Although they are very different, silver and glass have one thing in common: fire. This precious fire allows each material to be worked, stretched, shaped and sublimated.

It took Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil four years to awaken an intrinsic need for creation in a trio of candlesticks combining the fragility of glass with the robustness of silver.

Four years of research, drawings, models, sometimes doubts, but also encounters and discoveries that have forever changed the silversmith's view of his craft.

This work was greatly facilitated by the various confinements that gave Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil several weeks of precious time that the daily routine of his profession hardly offered him.

« After 20 years in the workshop, I needed to challenge myself and face my own technical constraints. This project reconciled me with my profession by plunging me back into all the dimensions of the silversmith's trade, both technically and artistically.»


Reinterpreting the classics

Several trips to Murano were necessary to find a glass artisan who shared the same requirements as Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil and who was able to bring to life his reinterpretation of the classic candlestick, evoking the cabinets of curiosities of the greatest palaces.

Despite the language barrier that could have blocked such a complex project, the two craftsmen were able to dialogue thanks to the gesture of the hand. The one who designs the torch and the one who makes it.

160 is the number of hours of work required for each pair of candlesticks. After having drawn his ideal model by hand, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil set about designing the 3 decorations: Pyrite, Coral, Bouquet. He faced a real technical challenge with the fixing systems, which had to be effective and invisible. This challenge was met thanks to Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil's dexterity and mastery of his craft.

Some of the decorations were made up in wax and then melted down, others were directly shaped, chiselled and cut out of silver. Once these elements were made, adjusted and polished, they were covered with gold so that the solid silver became vermeil. To perfect his work, the silversmith, with his expert hands, burnished certain parts with agate to give them their full brilliance.

Assembled to their mouth-blown glass support, the decorations seem to rush in the same movement in search of their common element, the flame.

 « This part of the project was the most exciting because it put me back into a research and development phase. But it was also the most stressful because the association between the torch and the set had to remain a mystery. » 

Since 1910 and its creation, five generations of silversmiths have forged the identity and the reputation of RICHARD Orfèvre.

Today, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil continues to keep alive the soul of the workshop nestled in a charming backyard in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.

At the head of the workshop and its exceptional heritage since 2012, he puts all his passion and know-how at the service of the creation of classic and contemporary collections dedicated to individuals and professionals alike.