Unlike numerous houses that have taken on their founder’s name, ERCUIS bears the name of a small village of the Oise. In 1867, the young curate of Ercuis, Adrien Céleste Pillon, undertook to rehabilitate the village, morally and economically. He created an artistic goldsmithing trade, offering silverware with relief enamel decorations, silver-and gold-plated via electrolysis process.
To finance his extensive investments, he launched a newspaper which became a precious medium in which he could advertise his works, but this was disapproved by the religious authorities and he was soon dismissed from his duties.
Dinnerware quickly made the business flourish: silver – or gold plated tea and coffee sets, pantographed and enamelled, as well as sterling and silver-plated flatware. Shops were soon opened in Paris, in other French cities and abroad.
Alongside manufacturing process research, creation must permanently innovate. The Maës family, the new managers of the Orfèvrerie d’Ercuis in the late 19th century, decided to turn to industrial manufacturing and enhanced marketing.
The Orfèvrerie d’Ercuis increased its production capacities, took part in the big 1889 and 1900 World fairs, acquired rich customers by becoming one of the leading hotel suppliers. Competitions initiated by the major shipping companies enabled Ercuis to supply a series of liners “Ile de France”, “Normandie” and “Ville d’Alger” between 1922 and 1937. At the same time, flatware, a traditional wedding present for its well-to-do customer base, was not neglected and remained a creative priority.
After World War II, the wish to privilege ancient values fought with the desire for renewal. In the face of general growth and a favourable environment, it became urgent to modernize the plant and turn towards more contemporary creations. Alongside great goldsmith classics, creations inspired by space research, such as the “Horizon” and “Galaxie” sets, made Ercuis a leader of the luxury business, and it became a member of the very selective Comité Colbert.
In 1987, Michel Rouget, the new Chairman of the Ercuis Silversmiths, set up a new commercial and marketing strategy. Brand image was given a high priority, promoted by new design and communication policies. The power of the modern designs draws its force from the strength of the silversmith’s traditional work. The boutique at the Galerie Royale in Paris reflects this approach: classical modernity loyal to the company’s long history.
Ercuis today perpetuates tradition through the works of craftsmen and creators who build modernity on the strong basis of experience, with a common demand for quality, fine detailing and passion.