Last month the Opéra Garnier1 (Paris) played host for the return of a now rarely practiced artform, Sabrage. It sounds somewhat aggressive in title, however the reality is a process far more elegant, more reformed and now more stylish.

Sabring: an elegant gesture for sensory ceremony.

In homage to centuries of tradition and the celebratory nature of champagne the G.H.MUMM House of Champagne unveiled a collaboration with visionary Ross Lovegrove2; a man whose work is considered to have stimulated a profound change in the physicality of design. Ross realised this contemporary interpretation of one of the great champagne rituals in an organically shaped object that is as pugilistic as it is sword-like and as balanced as it is visually handle-biased.



The champagne sabrage is one of the proud traditions of the Champagne region, and is a vibrant and genuine culture that the House has developed to be its own. “Sabrage” made its first appearance with one of G.H.MUMM’s administrators, Alexandre de Bary, in 1875. A fashionable and well-known figure in high society, he would open his renowned dinner parties by expertly sabring the champagne. He had learnt this impressive gesture while serving as an officer in Napoleon’s army. On returning from battle, as a tribute to victory and strength, officers opened champagne bottles with their sabres. Or, more precisely, they would use the spine of the blade, as their impatience led them to break off the neck of the bottle, which at the time was sealed only with string and wax or tar.

What is the purpose of the Sabre…? In this particular instance it is to effectuate the opening of a bottle of champagne while paying tribute to the age old ritual a Sabrage. In that there can be no question that this ‘brief’ was met; the ease of use of the androgynous Ross Lovegrove Sabre rendering the cork screw obsolete – at least for the more extravagant of occasions that is. Ross Lovegrove to elaborates on the design process in the below video:



The G.H.MUMM Sabre comes in a limited edition sculptural case – the Deluxe Case by G.H.MUMM – which encloses a magnum of the legendary Cordon Rouge in an organic form creating a feast for the eyes.

Personally signed by Ross Lovegrove, the Deluxe Case by G.H.MUMM will be available in selective outlets in G.H.MUMM main international distribution markets.

LEAD IMAGE: Julio Piatti


  1. JOSHUA’s were in attendance of the event taking place on the 24th September 2013 along with select guests and Europe’s Digital Elite – Angel Martinez (The Luxury), Gabriele Stringa (BoBos), Brian Levy (Materialiste), Antonio Albasanz (Churchill and Rufus), Maxime Brunet (Modissimo) and Emanuele D’Angelo (Livincool)
  2. In the early 80’s Ross Lovegrove worked as a designer for Frog Design in West Germany on projects such as Walkmans for Sony and computers for Apple Computers, and he then moved to Paris as a consultant to Knoll International, becoming author of the highly successful Alessandri Office System. Invited to join the Atelier de Nimes along with Jean Nouvel and Philippe Stark, consulting to amongst others Cacharel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Dupont. He returned to London in 1986 and has completed projects for Airbus Industries, Kartell, Cappellini, Hermes, Moroso, Artemide, Driade, Renault, Apple Computers, Issey Miyake, Vitra, Motorola,Biomega, Yamagiwa Corporation, Tag Heuer, Hackman, Alias, Herman Miller, Japan Airlines and Toyo Ito Architects in Japan. Ross has won numerous international awards including La Medaille de la Ville de Paris and his work has been published extensively and exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Axis Centre in Japan, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Design Museum in London, where in 1993 he curated the first Permanent Collection.

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