After my wallet-emptying adventure at Cassegrain in part 1, I went in search of the famous Benneton Graveur. Not to be confused with the Italian clothing company, this Benneton has been a family stationery business since 1880.While Americans are all about their letterpress right now, French taste makers adore their engraveurs. Engraving — which is still available in the States but rarely used because of its high cost — is the most formal printing style. A metal die with an impression cut into the surface is filled with ink and then pressed into paper. This creates raised areas of the paper that may or may not be coated with ink, often in metallics like gold. This raised surface is also capable of amazing detail.
In a storefront decorated with 19th century boiserie, general director Anne-Marie Laurent helps you chose from a refined collection of papers and fonts, with or without Benneton’s trademark animal motifs. The impeccable craftsmanship is obvious here and Benneton has a team of specialized master artisans who emboss leather card cases, create monograms, design signet rings and engrave precious metals or stones. Customers can purchase all kinds of fine stationery, exquisite pens, leather goods, engraving and bronze casts.
Sofia Coppola has her bespoke stationery made by Benneton. So, you know … there’s that. From there I continued my paper quest in Le Marais neighborhood. More in part three.