Maison Belle Epoque: Perrier Jouët’s Affinity With Art
“A world where the past is honoured, the present celebrated, and the future embraced. A world where nature inspires art and art transforms nature. Welcome to the world of Maison Perrier-Jouët. Welcome to the Maison Belle Époque”
Timothée Croizat, Perrier-Jouët
Following a tireless two-year restoration, this summer, Perrier Jouët opened the doors of its family heritage home in Épernay France, welcoming an exclusive guest list for an intimate evening in the elegant surroundings of Maison Belle Époque. Meticulously revived to its original grandeur by Paris-based architecture and interiors firm Gaia Design, Maison Belle Époque is a colourful expression of the Perrier-Jouët’s founding virtues and 200-year heritage. With a privileged first glimpse, guests explored the magnificently redecorated rooms, cellars and manicured gardens; journeying through history as the story of two houses revealed itself. The story first, of a business and world-renowned Champagne House – Maison Perrier Jouët. The story also of family home – Maison Belle Époque – and the successive generations and influential personalities who occupied it.
Maison Perrier Jouët was the lovechild of Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and his wife Rose-Adelaide, founded in 1811. Maison Belle Époque was built as their family home. In 1850 Maison Belle Époque was acquired by art lover and founding member of the French Art History Society Eugène Gallice. Eugène was the brother-in-law of Charles Perrier – son of Pierre-Nicolas and Rose-Adelaide. Whilst Charles moved next door, building himself the imposing Château Perrier, Maison Belle Époque was inherited by Eugène’s sons, Henri and Octave. Henri took on the responsibility of managing Perrier Jouët Maison, while Octave, the more flamboyant of the two, resided in Paris sharing in the excitement of the Belle Époque Movement. Befriending the avant-garde artist Émile Gallé, he commissioned him to create a design for the Champagne. In 1902, Émile delivered four ornate magnums enamelled with a delicate spray of Japanese white anemones. Subsequently, this inspired the feminine floral design that still epitomises the modern Perrier Jouët brand today. During the 1980s Michel Budin – a relative of the Gallice family and a great lover of Art Nouveau, stepped up to the helm to run the business. It was he who envisaged a pantheon of savoir-faire and Savoir-Vivre to celebrate Perrier Jouët’s longstanding history and affinity with art and nature. Today, Maison Belle Époque is home to one of the largest private collections of French Art Nouveau in Europe.
“The renovation of the Maison Belle Époque was an inspiring project, bringing together a vast array of different talents – the talent of our Cellar Master, the talents of the artists whose work fills the house, the talents of the artisans who restored it and the architect who envisioned the project from beginning to end.”
Axelle de Buffevent, Perrier-Jouët Style Director
Maison Belle Époque is a showcase of exceptional craftsmanship and ingenious creativity. Totalling over 2000 hours, the project called on of a variety of artist and skilled professionals to complete. Authentically honouring 200 hundred years rich in history required the utmost respect for traditional methods and art forms. From the 33,000 hand-laid titles in the mosaic entrance hall to the 1,100 meters of fabric, created from original Art Nouveau cartoons, and the intricate hand-stencilled decorative friezes in many rooms– even the finest of details have been restored to with true integrity.
Gracing every room is a wondrous curation of Art Nouveau that connects a harmonious thread through time. The end result is a living symbol of Perrier Jouët’s past, present and future. Hector Guimard’s fine pear wood doors embellished with botanical motifs frame the entrance to the petit salon, where on the mantelpiece stands the only non-Art Nouveau work in the collection; a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Elsewhere in the house, there are furniture, ornaments and paintings typical of the era to include names such as François-Rupert Carabin, Raoul Larche, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Louis-Ernest Barrias.
Down in the chalky cellars, another installation is suspended in the darkness. Glithero’s mesmerising work Lost In Time takes inspiration from Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and his methods for achieving the perfect curve. Floating in the dark void and reflected in the shallow body of still water that lies below, Glithero has created a composition of luminous strung beads that glitter like incandescent Champagne bubbles.
Amongst the many bottles that line the chalky cellar walls of Perrier Jouët’s hidden treasure-trove are two bottles of Perrier-Jouët Sillery 1825 vintage – said to be the oldest vintage Champagne in the world. In the same cellar rests a bottle of the distinguished 1874 Vintage, which fetched a record price at Christie’s in 1888 as the most expensive bottle of Champagne ever sold.
Maison Belle Époque is open to guests by invitation only. However, for those interested in gaining a privileged glimpse into the secrets hidden within its walls, Perrier Jouët have introduced the ‘By and For’ experience. Promoted by word of mouth, this once in a life-time personalisation service provides the unique opportunity to craft your own prestigious cuvée with cellar master Hervé Deschamps. It all begins with a private journey to Épernay, at the heart of Champagne region. As a distinguished guest of the house, you will reside in the historic Maison Belle Époque surrounded its renowned Art Nouveau collection and its beautiful vineyards. After venturing on a guided tour, partake in a 1:1 masterclass with Deschamps before designing a wine profile tailor-made to match your personal taste preferences. 8-10 months later- after maturing in the Perrier Jouët’s cellars- your pre-arranged order of your bespoke Champagne will be delivered to your home. Arriving in a wooden crate adorned with an engraved golden plate, each bottle will be decorated with Perriers Jouet’s beautiful Japanese anemones. At the neck of each bottle will be golden ring engraved with the significant words of your choosing. The cost of Perrier Jouet’s By and For experience will depend on where you are travelling from and the quantity of Champagne you choose to pre-order. However, for guests travelling from the UK expect to part with a figure in the region of £100,000.
If you are interested in finding out more about this experience, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able direct your enquiry accordingly. For those not ready to part with the best part of £100, 000 Perrier Jouët also offer virtual tours of Maison Belle Époque via their website: www.perrier-jouët.com.
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