A little-known fact: like Louis-Victor Puiforcat, Andy Warhol was a passionate collector of silverwork. However, unlike the illustrious ancestor of the House, the king of pop art had little taste for the sophistication of classical stylings. Only the arts of the table and the modern and unembellished lines of Art Deco, with which the artist became acquainted thanks to gallery owner Ileana Sonnabend, truly took his fancy. During a visit to Paris in the 1970s, Warhol entered the Puiforcat boutique – then located at 131 Boulevard Haussmann – to purchase the creations of Jean Puiforcat.
Puiforcat boutique in the 1970s
The staff was somewhat taken aback: at the time the Art Deco craze had faded and the celebrity artist had to be led to the basement where a few collector's items were kept. Warhol was ecstatic upon discovering these objects! Overjoyed, he purchased several forgotten masterpieces of 1930 silverwork to complete his collection. Was it thanks to this illustrious visitor that Puiforcat chose to reproduce its Art Deco collections? We may never know, but the fact remains that their erstwhile popularity was soon revived: as of the 1980s, the appetite for these pieces was such that their auction price at Sotheby's soared!
One of the cards designed by Dali for Puiforcat
Another noteworthy visitor made a lasting impression at the Boulevard Haussmann boutique. Salvador Dali, a surrealist in life as well as in art, stopped by one day accompanied by a wild animal on a leash – an ocelot or a panther? That particular detail has been lost. The artist came to deliver a deck of playing cards ordered by the House of Puiforcat: although a true work of art, the pictures were so fanciful that the cards could not possibly be fit for playing!
Puiforcat and eccentric artists: a story of mutual admiration.