Historic Parisian Hardware comes to Market

  • Jorge Arango

When Nôtre Dame, Versailles, or Maisons-Laffitte need to restore or replace decorative hardware on windows and doors, there is one firm they call: Rémy Garnier, which has been headquartered in Paris’s storied Bastille since 1831. Traditionally available only through designers, the firm’s products are now being marketed directly to consumers, including a new Diffusion Collection. Its world-renowned Prestige Collection is made the old-fashioned way, by skilled craftsmen who, for generations, have been lathing, chiseling, hand-finishing, and polishing designs in every style from Louis XIV to art deco. The Diffusion line incorporates more machine production, though it is just minimally more economical. Prices range widely depending on material and degree of complexity in the design, of which there are literally hundreds. Door levers tend to run between $400 and $650 (a Louis XVI design with gold-plated finish and a 1920s deco design in polished nickel cost $460 and $550 euros, respectively, while a Louis XVI lever of bundled twigs is $550). Cremones—rack-and-pinion opening mechanisms controlled by a rotary handle—are the company’s specialty. A gold-plated Louis XV model runs $4,000. Gold-plated locks with escutcheons climb even higher, with a Louis XVI winged-lion design running $7,200 and an ornate Louis XVI model with a bow and arrows in the central plate topping $13,000. In the U.S., both lines are represented at Kraft Hardware in New York. (212.838.2214, www.kraft-hardware.com)

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