Photo © Stéphanie Tetu
You dream of escape? The most audacious trips are often made without moving an inch! To check this, visit the shops of the Compagnie française de l’Orient et de la Chine.
Anchored for more than 3,000 years in the cultural identity of the countries of Southeast Asia, the know-how of its craftspeople who specialise in the art of lacquerware will transport you. The CFOC Signature lacquer collection is breathtaking. We are fond of three-storey boxes (height 36, 50 or 60 cm) that can be used to store everything, or of a single level (height 38, 50 or 65 cm), both pedestal table and bedside table. We love the Ming stool, which comes in 5 colours: peacock blue, beige, black, CFOC red or burnt red. We love the walnut consoles and desks with a coloured lacquer top. And there is plenty to choose from if you are looking for a tray, a box, a salad bowl or a bowl… Objects for everyday use, but which are just as much delicate gifts as you would like to be offered.
The lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, found mainly in the Hanoi region of northern Vietnam (Phu Tho province). The natural, plant-based material, initially creamy, dries in contact with air while maintaining its strong adhesive capacity, which confers waterproofing properties to the wooden support. It is collected through an incision made on the trunk, then transformed and coloured with natural pigments, the beginning of a meticulous manufacturing cycle. The creation of an object requires the application of a large number of successive layers punctuated by drying, scraping, polishing, mother-of-pearl inlays or drawings, all done by hand. The manufacturing time of an object can thus reach 8 to 10 weeks during the wet season. As a living material, lacquerware acquires a unique patina over time and is easy to clean and maintain.
CFOC works mainly with Vietnamese masters, specialists in coloured and engraved lacquer, while it is in Cambodia that natural lacquer objects and gold leaves are made. The workshops are usually family owned and these craftsmen, who specialise in each stage of the manufacturing process, pass on their exceptional know-how from generation to generation. Each lacquered object thus carries a story that goes beyond it and guarantees a change of scenery. In short, lacquerware has only one brand, the one of the Compagnie française de l’Orient et de la Chine.
10, boulevard Raspail – 75007 Paris
+33 1 42 79 13 15 – www.cfoc.fr
Du lundi au samedi de 10 h à 19 h