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Reflecting its commitment to promote exceptional artisan skills, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is supporting the restoration and return to permanent display of outstanding objects in the collections of the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
Paris’s Musée des Arts et Métiers presents an invaluable heritage collection illustrating major advances in science and technology. It is also a centre for historical research, and professional training at its associate institution, the CNAM.
Reflecting their shared commitment to the history and transmission of skills and innovations, the Musée des Arts et Métiers and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès have established an annual partnership to finance the restoration of exceptional objects in the museum’s collection. The Fondation’s choice of objects is based on historical significance and the importance of the skills and techniques used to make and restore them.
Four pieces were restored in 2011. Claude Picquet’s extremely rare paper astrolabe and planisphere (1642) was used to measure the height of a star above the horizon, determining the user’s latitude. Joseph Bramah’s fire pump (1789), captured aboard an English warship was based on the principle of an oscillating cylinder driven by a screw press. A 17th-century automatic loom used to weave sails for warships, invented by naval officer Jean-Baptiste de Gennes, is represented by a model made in 1859 as part of a series illustrating French inventions in the automation of weaving. Amédée Bollée’s L’Obéissante (1873) is a steam omnibus, one of the very first means of horseless public transport. The Foundation’s choice of objects to be restored in 2012 will be announced shortly.