Astier de Villatte

“IN MANY FIELDS today, there is certain knowledge that could potentially be lost forever,” says Ivan Pericoli, the co-founder of the Paris-based homewares brand Astier de Villatte. “To us, there is something so fragile and beautiful about that.”

Pericoli, 46, and his business partner, Benoît Astier de Villatte, 54, have built their company on the allure of that old-world savoir-faire. It’s a sensibility that defines all of their products, from notebooks and candles to the elegant milk-white ceramics for which they’re best known. Often mistaken for antiques, these ceramic pieces are handmade by artisans—many of them Tibetan and some even practicing monks—in the company’s 13th arrondissement workshop. “It’s not that we’re only interested in tradition,” explains Pericoli. “It’s just a certain taste we have. We like old things.”