It is not by chance that the wallpaper patterns we have chosen date from the late 18th and 19th centuries. From 1770 onwards, France experienced an extraordinary flourishing in the production of wallpapers, eclipsing those of England, until then dominant in the world market.
France owed this superiority to its great strengths of decorative artists and designers, and a skilled workforce of the highest calibre and in tune with the style and taste of time. French wallpapers distinguished themselves from their English counterparts by greater originality and sophistication and by subtle and intense colouring; they conveyed the “douceur de vivre” characteristic of French decorative arts. Thus France became the world’s leading manufacturer of wallpapers, exporting as far as America and Russia.
Similarly panoramic murals, an exclusively French manufacture, enjoyed phenomenal success and were exported throughout the world. The fashion lasted until the late 19th century, but has seen several revivals throughout the 20th century.
Reviving the styles of these historic wallpapers is our way of celebrating French Arts Décoratifs, and bringing our history to life. For this reason we chose Le Grand Siècle as our marque, in homage to the 17th century which saw the foundation of French expertise in luxurious design and production, a tradition born under the genius of Colbert and Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil.
The choice of historic styles and patterns has been guided by an overarching requirement to offer a modern form; to be in the spirit of the age, to resonate with what is loved today - colours and patterns that speak to us in greens and blues and luxurious foliage, the jungle tamed. Our wish is to arouse in the lover of the decorative the need to embrace the beauty, while marvelling at its origins.
Our aim is to enhance beautiful artefacts with meaning and depth, recalling the history of an epoch, of the styles and customs of the leading lights of the day, of Marie Antoinette whose love of wallpapers launched the fashion, or Honoré de Balzac whose novels abound with their descriptions.
Our products are manufactured exclusively in France. Wallpapers and textiles are created in Ile-de-France under a master printer who works with us to develop each product through a rigorous process of testing for colour and texture, to realisation of made-to-measure prints, which are then hand rolled.
Our porcelain is produced in Limoges. Patterns are applied by hand, as are the 24 carat gold edgings. Our choice of exclusively French manufacture, handcrafted where appropriate, while obviously costly, reflects the brand philosophy, celebrating our French heritage through its enjoyment in the present.