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The Royal Warrant Series: Atelier Mertens

Many of you know that Belgian is a Kingdom and as a result we have many Royal Warrant holders. These heritage brands supply the court with only the best of the best that Belgium has to offer. This summer the I Love Belgium team goes around and gives you an insight into some of these heritage brands. We discover how they got their royal stamp of approval and how the workshop of a Royal Warrant holder looks like. This week we visited silver repair workshop Mertens.

Atelier Mertens is a family run business based on excellence and tradition. Now on its fourth generation, Mertens is still being praised for its exquisite craft and dedication to perfection. For almost a century they have specialized in fabrication, restoration, repairs, and special services. With great precision for details, their craftsman work mostly on repairs and restoration for their clients. Today, each one is done by hand to ensure that the product looks as if there was never anything awry.

Although technology has evolved to create stronger chemicals and more efficient processes for filing, the spirit of enthusiasm in the atelier has not changed. The craftsmen are guided by head Thierry Mertens, great-grandson of the founding Mertens legacy, who is even more passionate today than when he started working in the atelier at fourteen years old. As a young boy, Thierry was given the option to either continue in school, or come work for his dad. He chose to work side by side with his father, and the legacy of a family owned premier atelier continued. Even with his legacy, Thierry started his work from the ground up with odd jobs and small repairs. His passion never wavered, and soon he learned to master every step in the process of repairs, restoration, and creation.

Ilovebelgium asked Thierry what his favorite part of working at his family’s atelier is. After a few minutes of hard deliberation, his face lit up. Thierry loves working with clients and seeing their reactions when he is able to restore an old family relic to new. Preserving memories and history is at the heart of the atelier and is the motivation behind each project. Thierry also loves the expertise that he has gained over the years. He is now brought in as a friend and partner to help make artistic decisions for important clients as well as the Royal Court.

Mertens has been a Belgian Royal Warrant holder ever since Thierry can remember. In their quaint Atelier in the suburb Forest of Brussels, Thierry and his craftsmen do all of the silver repairs for the Belgian Royal Court. Generations of Royals as well as generations of family clients trust Mertens to care for and bring life to their relics varying from a simple spoon to an ornate chandelier.

Although the process may not be cheap, a simple restoration can add thousands of euros to the value of silver. Every effort is made to ensure that each piece is handled correctly. Mertens will even go so far as to use the same methods of creation from the 18th century by keeping original tools and skills in the atelier and at their disposal.

Atelier Mertens four generations of expertise and passion can be seen through their dedication to the craft as well as the mere excited attitude of head Thierry. Their success lies in their hearts and souls that have been fashioned to love working with silver to preserve the memories of the past. Take a peak inside Atelier Mertens! 

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