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Conte'
Paris, France
1795 - Current

Aliases

Conte’, 1795-1979
Subsidiary of Bic, 1979 – Current

Locations

Paris, France

History

 

Nicolas Conte pic.jpg

 

Conté crayons were developed in 1794 and then patented in 1795 by Nicolar-Jacques Conte, a French scientist, in response to graphite shortages caused by the Napoleonic Wars. He set out to design an art stick which could be made with a small percentage of graphite, allowing it to be fabricated from materials obtained within France. The result was a mixture of clay and graphite which was kiln fired to achieve a hard texture. This harder pastel based crayon didn’t need a fixative like softer based pastels; a common trait also found in the modern wax crayon.

 

Unlike the wax crayons though, Conté crayons didn’t originally use wax in their formulation. Wax crayons are composed primarily of kaolin (white clay), wax or fatty acids, and dyes. School, or children's, crayons are not typically intended for professional use because they are not designed to meet the artist's need for lightfastness and permanence.

 

Nicolar Conte' then set up Conte' A Paris to produce the crayons.  The company operated until 1979 when Bic bought them out.  They continue as a subsidiary to this day.  Over the years they introduced three distinct categories of products:  Carres', Esquisse' and Pastels.

 

It is an interesting coincidence that the Crayolor brand they had is so similar to Crayola even though Crayolor came first.  And even more interesting is that both companies have an artist line with a master painter used on the box.  In the case of Conte’ it was Raphael, in the case of Crayola it was Ruben.  One has to wonder if there was inspiration derived from Conte’ when Crayola first started out.  After all, they had an office in Paris at the time and these brands were in the 1900 Paris Exposition when Crayola (then Binney & Smith) participated in their first Exposition (although for carbon black at that time).  We may never know.

 

Known Crayon Boxes

 

Product Name

ID

Box

Colors

Crayons

Box Color

Design

Variation

Years

Rarity

Value

Conte'

CTE0003

SPH

2

2

Tan

Detailed building

Larger detailed building above

1990s

2

$3

Conte' Carres'

CTE0005

LID

12

12

Turquoise

Building symbol

Vertical banner label, border

1930s

7

$15

Conte' Carres'

CTE0013

TFT

12

12

Cream

Detailed building

Window, two heads

2000s

2

$5

Conte' Carres'

CTE0015

HPC

12

12

Yellow,Blue

Detailed building

Still life fruit, bottles

2000s

2

$3

Conte' Carres'

CTE0017

HPC

12

12

White,Yellow

Detailed building

Small building, girl's face

2010s

1

$3

Conte' Carres'

CTE0014

HPC

24

24

Yellow,Blue

Detailed building

Outdoor scene

2000s

2

$5

Conte' Carres'

CTE0018

HPC

24

24

White,Yellow

Detailed building

Small building, table scene

2010s

1

$5

Conte' Carres'

CTE0001

ST

48

48

Cream

Detailed building

Full windows above/below, still life fruit

1990s

2

$5

Conte' Carres'

CTE0004

HPC

48

48

Yellow,Blue

Detailed building

Sill life with fruit, bottles, windows up/down

2000s

2

$5

Conte' Carres'

CTE0020

HPC

48

48

White,Yellow

Detailed building

Small building, table scene

2010s

1

$7

Conte' Carres' No 2

CTE0007

LID

12

12

Turquoise

Ornate border

Vertical banner label, border

1920s

8

$15

Conte' Carres' No 3

CTE0006

LID

12

12

Cream

Ornate border

Ornate border below and on lid

1910s

8

$25

Conte' Industrial

CTE0008

LID

12

12

Turquoise

Grand Prix 1900

Red banner, horizontal lines, Grand Prix

1900s

8

$30

Conte' Industrial

CTE0009

LID

12

12

Olive Green

Grand Prix 1900

Red banner, horizontal lines, Grand Prix

1900s

8

$30

Conte' Sketching

CTE0016

TFT

6

6

Orange,Blue

Detailed building

Small building, outdoor scene

2010s

1

$3

Conte' Sketching

CTE0019

HPC

12

12

Orange,Blue

Detailed building

Small building, outdoor scene

2010s

1

$5

Conte' Sketching

CTE0021

HPC

12

12

Cream,Brown

Detailed building

Small building, people

2010s

1

$5

Contelor

CTE0023

LID

16

16

Dark Green

Rainbow Label

Arched text

1900s

8

$10

Crayolor

CTE0012

LID

6

6

Green

Rainbow Label

Red border on label, rainbow name

1900s

9

$40

Crayolor

CTE0011

LID

17

17

Blue

Rainbow Label

Red border on label, rainbow name

1900s

9

$30

Crayolor

CTE0010

LID

48

48

Cream

Rainbow Label

Red border on label, rainbow name

1900s

9

$30

Criterium

CTE0024

HBT

24

24

Red

Scene

Farm scene

Unknown

9

$20

Raphael

CTE0022

HT

24

24

White,Blue

Ornate Border

Raphael picture, no writing below

1900s

7

$20

Raphael

CTE0025

HT

24

24

White,Red

Ornate Border

Raphael picture, writing below

1900s

7

$20

Simpsons

CTE0002

SPP

12

12

Turquoise

Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson with surfboard

1990s

4

$7

 

Photos

 

 

Conte - 48 colors.jpg

 

 

Simpsons - 12 colors.jpg

 

Conte - 2 sticks.jpg

 

Conte (yellow) - 48 colors.jpg

 

Conte Carres Sanguine - 12 black.jpg

CTE0001

CTE0002

CTE0003

CTE0004

CTE0005

 

 

Conte A Paris No 3 - 12 colors.jpg

 

 

Conte No 2 - 12 black.jpg

 

Conte a Paris - 12 colors.jpg

 

Conte a Paris Grand Prix 1900 - 12 crayons.jpg

 

Crayolor (Conte A Paris) - 48 colors.jpg

CTE0006

CTE0007

CTE0008

CTE0009

CTE0010

 

 

Crayolor - 17 colors.jpg

 

 

Crayolor - 6 colors.jpg

 

Conte (faces building) - 12 colors.jpg

CTE0011

CTE0012

CTE0013

 

 

Conte - 24 colors.jpg

 

 

Conte (still life) - 12 colors.jpg

 

Conte Sketching - 4 colors.jpg

CTE0014

CTE0015

CTE0016

 

 

Conte Carre - 12 colors.jpg

 

 

Conte Carre - 24 colors.jpg

 

Conte Sketching - 12 colors.jpg

CTE0017

CTE0018

CTE0019

 

 

Conte Carre - 48 colors.jpg

 

 

Conte Sketching (rolling window) - 12 colors.jpg

CTE0020

CTE0021

CTE0022

CTE0023

 

 

 

CTE0024

CTE0025