Café Riquet

Schuhmachergäßchen 1 – 3

Das Café »Riquet«

Exterior of the Café Riquet in the city centre of Leipzig, set together from a potpourri of exotic motives, which refer to the colonial trade tradition of the house.

During a visit to Leipzig one inevitably passes along the facade of the well-known coffee house »Riquet«. Surrounded by Far Eastern woodcarvings, tea, cocoa, pralines and other specialities are being served until today.

In 1908 the Huguenot trade company, founded in 1745, commissioned architect Paul Lange to erect a tavern here, which he modelled after Chinese architecture. The intricate Jugendstil mosaics reflect the exoticising depictions still being used for advertising purposes.

Likewise, the elephant that has become the trademark stands for this association between exoticism and »Riquet & Co«, the foreign, the outlandish, still mend to appeal to the passer by. In the intricate mosaics the trade tradition of the firm Riquet is represented which is still successfully used today as advertising. As at that time ubiquitous in advertising for colonial goods, there can be found depictions of submissive servants, which appear to ostensively reflect the alleged superiority of the Europeans in the colonial social order.

Images on this page:

left: Jochen Lingelbach

Further reading:

  • Sabine Bauermeister: Die Leipziger Firma »Riquet & Co.« im Spiegel ihrer Anzeigen 1863-1910. Dokumentation und quellenkundliche Auswertung. HTWK (FH) Leipzig, Fachbereich Buch und Museum, Diplomarbeit 2000.
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