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February 7, 2014
At Maison&Objet, French silversmith Puiforcat debuted a line designed by Pauline Deltour called Argent de Poche. Meaning “pocket money” in French, the concept of the line was to include objects you always have with you: a key ring, bill fold, and business card holder, for example. While Deltour’s design is firmly of the present, she gleaned inspiration from Puiforcat’s rich legacy, specifically the Art Deco works by Jean Puiforcat.

Pauline Deltour’s line for the Puiforcat is based on a geometric motif. “It’s a game of round and square,” she says. Each piece is either a rectilinear shape with circular accent or vice versa, like the measuring tape shown above. Founded in Paris in 1820, Puiforcat is the last remaining silversmith in France. “It’s amazing that such a company is still here when so many manufacturers with amazing know-how are closing,” Deltour says. “I knew nothing about silver before this project and now I know so much!”

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Deltour spent many months studying Puiforcat’s history before beginning to design any of her pieces. “My work is based on research and references,” she says. She combed the archives, visited retail shops, and spent time in the factory. Deltour says that every time she begins a new project, she has to design a new process. "It took a few months to get into the spirit of Puiforcat—then I could start drawing.”

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She came across drawings by Jean Puiforcat, who was active during the Art Deco period, and was attracted to the geometric nature of his work. She saw circles, squares, and rectangles and continued in this vein. A cigar cutter is shown here.

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The cigarette and pill boxes were the first pieces Deltour designed for the collection. After perfecting the patterns and proportions of the boxes, she then moved onto the other items.

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A pattern of slender lines connects all the pieces and provides embellishment for the surfaces. “I designed the lines and decoration to highlight the function of the piece,” she says. For example, the lid of the cigarette box is etched, which indicates to the user where he or she should interact with the piece. Deltour also left ample “blank” space on each piece so that there would be room for custom engraving. "The most simple things are the most difficult things to achieve," Deltour says.

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Shown here is a key ring from the Argent de Poche collection by Pauline Deltour for Puiforcat.

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A money clip from the collection.

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A pill box from the collection.

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Deltour's early sketches of the line.

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puiforcat pauline deltour measuring tape

Pauline Deltour’s line for the Puiforcat is based on a geometric motif. “It’s a game of round and square,” she says. Each piece is either a rectilinear shape with circular accent or vice versa, like the measuring tape shown above. Founded in Paris in 1820, Puiforcat is the last remaining silversmith in France. “It’s amazing that such a company is still here when so many manufacturers with amazing know-how are closing,” Deltour says. “I knew nothing about silver before this project and now I know so much!”

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