Monday, 23 August 2010

Cognac Briand, Cognac

I have seen many ghost signs in Cognac, France, and of course one had to be for one of the brandy trading houses.

The Briand trading house was founded in 1835. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, George Briand, who had taken over from his father, took Edgar Boutillier as a partner and the house traded under the name Boutillier, Briand et Cie. A second distillery, the first one in Cognac to use steam, opened in 1881. In 1902 George Briand, like many owners of trading houses before and after him, was elected mayor of Cognac, a position he kept for ten years. Edgar Boutillier died in 1918 and his son Jean inherited his shares. In 1920 George Briand retired and left the trading house in the hands of Jean Boutillier and a new partner, Robert de Laurière. Following his death two years later, the name was changed to Boutillier et de Laurière before becoming in the late 1960s de Laurière et Cie. The Briand brand was kept and developed. With vineyards in Archiac (Petite Champagne), St-Même, St-Preuil, and Segonzac (Grande Champagne), de Laurière et Cie was an important trading house but in 1983 it went bankrupt. De Laurière et Cie was bought by Jules Robin, a subsidiary since 1964 of Martell, one of Cognac's largest trading houses. In 1988 Martell reorganized its portfolio and the subsidiary Augier Robin Briand was created. Incidentally the small modern billboard carries an ad for Martell.

Maison fondée en 1835
Brillant Cognac
de Laurière et Co.

Of course in French 'Briand' and 'brillant' (meaning both 'brilliant' and 'diamond') are pronounced the same way.

You can see two poster for Cognac Briand by clicking here and here.
A wide range of labels for Briand (towards the bottom of the page) and Boutillier Briand (first two rows) can be seen by clicking on the names.

There was another advert on this wall, in a lozenge, but I can't decipher it.

Location: Rue Claude Boucher, Cognac, Charente / Picture taken on: 03/06/2010


susyrosy said...

Bonjour Sebastien,
Je viens de decouvrir votre blog et il m'intrigue. Quel est le filon qui tient toutes ces passions heteroclites? Ce qui m'amene est le Cognac Briand. Je suis Luc Briand et ma famille vient de Cognac. On m'a dit que ma famille avait une maison de cognac, mais je ne suis pas sur que ce soit celle dont vous parlez. Il est possible que c'etait du cote de ma grand-mere, donc avec un nom different. Vous savez certainement combien ce qu'on rapporte dans les familles arrive tordu et bancal. Enfin maintenant, j'habite en Angleterre et j'ai peu de rapport avec la ville de Cognac. Bonne continuation. Luc B (

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Bonjour Luc,
Desole pour la reponse tardive (un emploi du temps charge). Ce qui me motive c'est la curiosite, qui ne se limite pas a ces anciennes publicites, heureusement! Plus un certain attrait pour ces vestiges d'un passe pas si lointain mais qui sont en voie de disparition et auxquels pas grand monde prete attention.
Si vous etes de la famille Briand peut-etre avez vous des droits a faire valoir? Une bouteille par an?
Et merci pour le commentaire!

pcruise said...

Hello Sebastian,

Can you please tell me when the company stopped production under the name Boutillier et de Lauriere? The information I had stated that the company closed in 1945. If this is accurate, when did de Lauriere et cie begin? Did Robert de Lauriere take ownership after 1945? When did Jean Boutillier stop his partnership with de Lauriere?

Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me at:

Many Thanks,

Sebastien Ardouin said...

Sorry for the late answer Patrick. I'm afraid pretty much all the info I have is in the post.