History

FROM ORIGINS TO 1874

The original workshop was created on the Seine's left bank, rue de Nevers. Then most likely between 1860 and 1870, it was moved to the firm's existing address in Paris's twelfth arrondissement, on boulevard de la Bastille – called at that time boulevard de la Contrescarpe. But it used to be three times bigger back then.

Remy Garnier junior sold the family firm in 1874 and lived off from his private income until 1911. He owned several buildings in Paris and one hotel particulier near the Saint-Cloud bridge in Boulogne. Besides, he possessed an important collection of ancient books, proof of this is seen in his will kept in the firm's archives.

From 1874 to 1945

In the firm's history, there were two Remy Garnier, father and son. The father was born near Montbard in Burgundy and went up to Paris to do his apprenticeship. In 1832, he created the locksmith's workshop that still exists today. His son was born in the same year. The father died in 1880 and the son lived until 1911. Between 1839 and 1850, Remy Garnier father, along with Mister Chevalier (with whom he was about to work), registered many patents and further patents on the improvement of cremone bolts. Whereas the father was a technician and an inventor, the son managed to develop the firm and create value for its registered patents, ensuring a technical lead on competitors. Apart from that, the evolution of a new bourgeoisie helped the firm development as well, through the increase of building and house constructions in Paris or in the provinces. All along these years, Garnier House belonged to both brothers Brun-Cottan who had bought it in 1874; then to their descendants. During this period, Garnier House branched out to high prestige by creating the impressive collection of cremone bolts, espagnolette, locks, levers, knobs and other useful accessories for closing doors and windows. Today, this collection still makes Remy Garnier famous. It should be noted that in the last decade of the 19th century, the firm used to sell 500000 cremone bolts per year, which probably established it as a market leader. Today we can still find numerous examples of that prestige in Parisian buildings built between 1870 and 1914, either fine-cut bronze products or cast iron products. The “Compagnie de la Plaine de Monceau”, a famous property investor at that time in the west side of Paris, equipped all its flats with fine-cut golden-bronze cremone bolts, espagnolettes and locks. Stairwells windows were equipped with cast iron cremone bolts as well. Besides, Garnier equipped Paris City hall back when it was rebuilt, after the fire during Paris Commune in 1871. In the beginning of the 20th century, for sales purposes, Garnier House conceived a leather-bound catalogue of more than 400 pages, size 33*44, in which the different products were displayed full size (to-scale). Today, this catalogue is still the main work tool, although it has been converted into smaller size. And it has been updated with new pages, including all new products created since then;  Art deco was indeed a fruitful period for Remy Garnier, creation-wise, activity-wise and in terms of prestige.

1945 - present

From the Thirties on, Garnier House declined due to its lack of evolution. It left the construction industry market in order to focus on the decoration market and to make better use of its collections. Today, the firm's activities are divided into two distinct lines. Remy Garnier brand includes either traditional or modern products, made of fine-cut bronze, that made the firm's reputation in know-how. This brand includes specific products ordered by clients, studied and made for them. It also refers to prescribing products for decoration sites we're entrusted with. The brand Garnier Diffusion assembles other bronze or brass products, stemming from our work only on functionality and decoration. A restoration activity adds to these two lines, either for private individuals or for listed historical monuments. Indeed, many pieces set up 100 or 150 years ago are worth finding their original qualities again. 

30 bis, boulevard de la Bastille 75012 Paris - France - t. 33 (0)1 43 43 84 85 - f. 33 (0)1 43 46 13 76 - r.garnier@remygarnier.fr

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