The Maison Allard was founded in 1832 by Célestin Allard. It first specialized in woodwork and upholstery before expanding its activity to interior design, offering complete interior decors to an upper-class clientele. The company participated in the National Exhibitions from 1844 to 1849 and began to be known in other countries when it opened a branch in Brussels.
In 1860, Célestin's son Jules Allard took over the atelier, whose international success continued to grow. In 1875, he partnered with his two sons, and the Maison Allard was renamed “Jules Allard et Fils” (Jules Allard and Sons); this is how the company would come to be known in America.
The company stood out at the great World Fairs, especially in the 1878 Fair in Paris, where Allard won a gold medal and became a knight of the Légion d'Honneur, the highest distinction in France. During this period, Allard met English interior decorator Richard Morris Hunt, which allowed him to work on the mansions of the wealthiest families of the United States. Thanks to these commissions, Jules Allard opened a branch in New York City in 1885; this way, he could create sumptuous decors for the Vanderbilt and Berwind mansions in New York and Newport. One of his major interior designs, which led to the peak of his fame, was that of the Marble House, Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt's Summer “cottage” in Newport.
He also worked for Edward Julius Berwind, managing the interior design for his estate on Fifth Avenue in New York City and designing the monumental fireplace sculpted by Louis Ardisson and presented on our website.
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