For many generations my family were Parisian, therefore I am Parisian by birth but Charentais by adoption since I was 31 years old. Previously I was an executive with Ateliers de Bobinage Charentais ( A.B.C.) which has nothing to do with Cognac!
I started my label collection in November 1989; sometime prior to that I had seen some labels at the Cognac house of Royer and I found them beautiful. One of my friends was cellar master there, and he introduced me to Mr.Jérôme Royer (fifth generation after the founder).
Jérôme, who has since become a good friend, gave me permission to look at the stocks of old Royer labels. Looking at all the different colours and graphics and the work that went into these labels, immediately gave me the idea that, there in front of my very eyes, I was looking at an important part of the heritage of the Charentes departments.
From 1990 to 1996 I was asked by many directors and négociants to reclassify the labels of products they no longer marketed, and also to classify their own private archives. This permitted me to make up this collection of marvellous cognac, pineau and brandy labels which are unique to the Charentais region.
I am taking the opportunity of this site to thank all those who have given me their support in opening the doors to their stocks of old labels as well as to their archives. In particular I want to thank: Jérôme Royer, Stéphane Burnez from Cognac Prunier, and Patrick Tesseron, founder of the Eco Musée de Migron (which must be visited), who were close by when I needed support, and also all the proprietors who make their own cognac and pineau, and the many others who have donated labels for my exhibitions.
THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN
Hoping that this site will bring to collectors a little insight into the world of Cognac labels.
This site has also been done for my Cognac label collecting friends who don't know all of my collection, I hope to see you all soon.
And if time allows me after cognac, then brandy, pineau, Charentais wine, rum, syrups, liqueurs.........
The development and construction of the 'Musee des Arts de Cognac' started in 2001.
One evening in June 2002, Mme CHESNEAU-DUPIN, the Director of the Cognac Museums, asked me to visit the site; the interior was a long way off completion. At the end of the visit, I said to her, simply, "Madame, I'm going to give you my collection".
At that time, my collection included more than 25,000 cognac labels, all classified in files, as well as hundreds of thousands in cardboard boxes, (my good friends know these well, and love going through them in the hope of finding their 'good fortune'); dozens of advertising posters and cartons/showcards; more than 400 glasses; and as many ash-trays (150 examples of each have been given to the Museum); hundreds of carafes in porcelain, crystal and glass; other advertising materials such as playing cards, pen-knives etc; archives on all kinds of Gabares, Cognac Houses, commercial enterprises and shops etc, from 1845 to now; and many more items on the subject of Cognac.
I created this personal collection on the heritage of Cognac between the end of 1989 to the end of 1999. This donation to the Museum of the Art of Cognac has been for me a real joy, and I am very proud to have been able to contribute in a small way to the the cultural heritage of the Charentes.
Mme CHESNEAU-DUPIN had informed me that she'd made a request to Monsieur Jérôme MOUHOT, the Mayor of Cognac, that they give me 'la Medaille de la Ville' for my donation to the Museum.
A reception was held on 12th March, 2003, in the Council Room of the Town Hall, in the presence of many of my friends. The Mayor presented me with the 'Medaille de la Ville', and to my great surprise also made me a CITIZEN OF HONOUR of COGNAC. This rooted me to the spot, so much that I was unable to utter more than the words 'Thank You'. At my request, a very good friend then spoke on my behalf.
Today, I still continue to preserve this heritage, to make it more fruitful and to make it known to the entire world thanks to the magic of the internet. I want to thank my family and all my friends who have supported me in this endeavor.