FRENCH ARCHITECTURAL HARDWARE

Brionne

Meeting Brionne was a turning point for me and I’m tempted to say, a turning point for interior design in Australia – call me modest!

Back then I had evolved from furniture hardware to selling architectural hardware, mainly the Indian brass variety that was and is still popular for restoration of victorian buildings. For me it’s hardware that meets a need but I’ve always felt it is transplanted English style out of character with our way of life with the bright brass look suggesting servants to do the polishing.

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I was visiting the Cologne hardware show, one of Europe’s great events for showcasing the latest in everything hardware. Hall after hall of everything the handyman, builder, hardware shop owner, could wish for except for a decent original handle, until I turned a corner and there was Brionne!

It was a “eureka” moment. This was it. I just knew I wanted to represent this company in Australia, and the rest as we say is history. It has been copied extensively – badly.

French hardware is now entrenched as part of design in Australia.

We always market the ranges we sell under the name of the manufacturer and Brionne is French hardware. There is one other reputable French hardware brand sold in Australia, by brand name, they be competition, but I say now, worthy competition. Not so the Indian and Chinese copies that I have seen so far.What makes Brionne great for me? Integrity.

The most popular hard waring finish is called “sheridised patina,” abbreviated to SP on our coding. Sheridising was developed, probably by Mr Sheridan in the early day of industrialisation. It was to answer for assisting machinery to stay lubricated when lubricants were not as good as they are today.

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This is the process, you should get the idea to the relationship to the above. After the manufacture, the parts are tumbled for some hours withhard pellets. This removes any machine marks and creates a patinated texture.Next, tumbled with dry zinc powder at high temperature, a kind of dry galvanising. Then, in grain, wheat, in vibrating vats, the parts are polished before being cleaned lacquered and baked.

Some process. The result is a very attractive and very durable product. No shortcuts. Integrity.

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