Itinéraires joailliers

14 October 2017

The Maison Diamantée, Marseille

Close to the Old Port, just behind the City Hall, lies a house named for its stone façade entirely covered in raised diamond-shaped tips, with four sides meeting in a ridge. This bossage creating play with light and shade is described as “Venetian”, reflecting the rich past of this major trading city open to the East.

 

A mysterious origin

We know nothing about the person who commissioned this façade with its prismatic bossage, or its architect. Considered the oldest house in the city, the Maison Diamantée could have been built in 1570 or the early 17th century, possibly by a Catalan merchant called Pierre Gardiolle.

 

A miraculous survivor

Initially the home of various great families, it was subsequently divided up during the French Revolution. Later, it was saved from ruin in 1914, and escaped the destruction of the old districts ordered by the German authorities in 1943. A house protected by the powers of the most precious gem, it would seem…

 

3, rue de la Prison – 13002 Marseille

Most popular articles

Vicenza's jewelry museum

You’d think there would be a plethora of museums like this one, entirely devoted to jewelry. But that’s not the case. We talk to its founder and director...

7 reasons to go to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

In fact, I could give you a thousand! But let me just cite a few of my favourite works and rooms, to encourage you to discover the Musée des Arts...

Jewelry at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

There has been much talk of Jean Nouvel’s extraordinary achievement, but less has been said about the works exhibited there. And what about the...

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The interior of this white marble building, a jewel of the United Arab Emirates, is characterised by its sublime marquetry of precious stones.

Where to buy a fabric brooch?

Embroidered patches and silk flowers are the perfect solution to adorn your jacket lapel or personalise your white T-shirt. Here’s a selection of the best...

Hillwood, the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post

From 1959 onward, this American heiress lived in a Neo-Georgian mansion that she conceived as a museum to be bequeathed to the Smithsonian on her death. It...