It all began in 1867 when the priest of Ercuis (a village in the department of Oise, 50 km from Paris), founded a small religious silversmiths. The company, which also prided itself on its ‘relief enamel, copper, silver and gold plating and wire drawing’, developed rapidly and it wasn’t long before it began to need more manpower and houses were built for its workers. Ercuis gradually moved into tableware and opened a store in Paris. In 1886, it started using the famous centaur hallmark that still features on all its products today. Thanks to its expert know-how Ercuis has acquired a leading position in the field.
The ultra-creative inter-war years mark one of the highlights of the Ercuis saga; a period that was driven by the great international expositions of 1925, 1931 and 1937. Another epic moment that caused a media sensation was when the silversmith equipped the SS Normandie for its inaugural crossing from Paris to New York in 1935. It renewed the experience in 1962 for the SS France. The company’s collections became more and more contemporary and, in recognition of its place amongst the select circle of French luxury companies, Ercuis became a member of the Comité Colbert, a grouping of excusive French luxury brands, in 1978.
Making flatware or shaped pieces requires numerous manual operations, all of which are carried out by craftsmen who excel in one of the delicate stages that comprise the manufacturing process. Handed down from generation to generation, this precious know-how is constantly enriched by new forms of technical prowess. For example in 2005, L’Insolent line of cutlery made use of sophisticated assembly techniques that were more typical of the mounting techniques used in high jewellery.
A symbol of French art de vivre, the company offers new perspectives to silver, its noble, luminous and creative raw material. The brand’s collaborations with contemporary artists and designers are enjoying increasing success with the luxury hotel industry. In Paris, the Royal Monceau, Shangri-La and Four Seasons George V have all placed their trust in this renowned purveyor of fine tableware and silverware.
Ercuis was bought in 2015 by the Italian group Sambonet Paderno Industrie S.p.A. and is continuing to win market share with key influencers, designers and decorators, a fact that is illustrated by a special commission (see photo) entrusted to designer Thierry Lebon: a table centrepiece bowl and a 9-light candelabra that are nothing short of silver-plate masterpieces.