Maison Rennotte: a disappearing treasure

In the memory of one journalist, never before had a visit to the workshop been done via “video recording”. However, never before has such a modern means of communication reproduced so well the robustness and precision of machine tools used – for some – by over 170 years old !

It was without counting on passion and enthusiasmEmmanuel Royeron the other side of the screen, live from “his” Maison Rennotte.

Middle part

The superb start in the offices, light and bright, is not yet fully invested: the company recently left Charenton-le-Pont (Val-de-Marne).

From contemporary creations mark the space, proof that work in bronze still awaits very creative days here.

A flight of stairs: here is the workshop and its center, impressive cold drawing table. This rest Chatarde mill in Breuil-en-Vexin (78) it was used to make umbrella poles using hydraulic power as early as 1859.

More than 3000 references of belts and slats can still be formed there:

“A unique technique, no longer taught, owned by three of my collaborators: the last one in France! From the raw base to the expected shape, it takes up to 20 passes, interrupted by annealing, to avoid damaging the metal and make it better flexible, explains our guide of the day Our customers are in search of authenticity. Small flaws add charm and a masterful touch. It is impossible to reproduce it industrially!”

Unique charm

Here and there, smaller machines are still searching for their final place:

“We just bought Bordeaux Creationsspecialized in goldsmithing, jewelry and small bronze”. An additional string to the already well-stocked bow.

Turns – extensively – to get to the “surface treatment” part. THE decorative bronzes there is beauty: polishing, varnishing, patination, gilding (including nitrate, also in danger of extinction), based on natural pigments (“a gold mine compared to today’s quality”).

“The workshop is flexible depending on the scope of the projects. And the working environment, far from being sanitized: small imperfections also contribute to the charm of the final result,” he emphasizes Emmanuel Royer.

Guided by his mantra

So here’s what beginners are looking for: excellence and attention to detailforged by decades of experience and in-depth knowledge of art history.

The customer list is authentic: National furniture, the Louvre or New York museums, the Palace of Versailles, carpenters, restorers, interior designers, furniture and lighting manufacturers, antique dealers…

“Currently we surround 788 panels in bronze intended for a famous palace or 10 weeks of work for one person. But we also work with individuals.”

“The scale of the projects is not a criterion; it ranges from buttons that cost €2 to orders that cost €220,000. As the last possessors of certain knowledge, we have to answer to everyone”, Emmanuel Royer.

The mantra that drove Emmanuel Royer to yes literally saving the company in 2019, when she was on the edge of the precipice, and Covid was already threatening. “I was engaged in sales here for about ten years. With two more employees we became shareholders.”

“We didn’t count our hours, we sacrificed a lot on a personal and financial level, I learned certain techniques late, but we are back on track!” entrusted by the manager.

For the end of the year, Maison Rennotte is looking for two collaborators, “but we will have to double the workforce in 2024.” Work and quality always pay off…


Key dates

  • 1860: Dieudonné François Joseph Rennotte founded Maison Rennotte in Faubourg Saint-Antoine.
  • Since 1974: Acquisition of renowned houses specializing in bronze or bronze gilding of furniture.
  • 2012: Contribution to the renovation of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.
  • 2019: Takeover of the company by Emmanuel Royer and two colleagues. Website redesign (2020).
  • 2022: Acquisition of Esprit du bronze.
  • 2023: Acquisition of Bordeux Créations and acquisition of the label A living heritage company (EPV).

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