Who: Abigail Ahern, Interior Designer Where: Maison et Objet, Paris…
What: Astier de Villatte, Ceramics-Manufactory
I have a distinctive weakness for fine china. Whether KPM or Dibbern, Rosenthal or Meißen, inherited, bought, or received as a gift: At home mountains of china pile up ‘till they reach the ceiling. But that doesn’t stop me from providing more supplies on a regular basis, risking that my husband is getting a seizure each time the newest acquisitions enlarge the domestic assortment. In Paris the best address for admirers of the cultivated table culture is situated in the Rue Saint-Honoré 173. Here Astier de Villatte, master of the peculiar ceramics, resides.
When the two French design students Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte met at the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts at the end of the Nineties, none of them had a clue about the china-sector. But they did have a strong sense for form and design and so it doesn’t really surprise that plates and bowls, jugs and mugs – in solid white or extraordinary décor – quickly found their lovers and admirers. Inspired by old masters, secondhand discoveries, or flea markets, the duo loves to paint their creations with unusual motives like skeletons, skulls, and diverse animal species.
Self-evidently the Astier de Vilatte china is “made in France” – produced in their company’s atelier at Boulevard Masséna, displayed and sold in the famous Rue Saint-Honoré, where the china is presented in old wooden shelves.
The retail store already exists since 1788 and used to be a shop for odds and ends. Pericoli and Astier de Vilatte left everything the way they found it: the creaking floor, the weathered walls and the rudimentary wallpapers accurately matching the setting in which they wanted to offer their luxurious and quite expensive china.
Most recent showpiece is the “Peanuts-Collection” to honor US-writer and illustrator Charles M. Schulz (1922-200), creator of the same named comic series. Next to white china Astier de Villate also offers small pieces of furniture, calendars, papeterie, scented sticks and an exquisite collection of scented candles, resulting from collaboration with renowned perfumers and, needless to say, are also sold in Astier de Vilatte-Ceramics. I love this shop and can spend hours looking around. It makes me feel like I’m in a time long gone. Each time, I enter the shop. BvH
The Peanuts – the newest Collection
Objects of Desire
Astier de Villatte
173, rue Saint-Honoré