As a bonus to our visit to Maison & Objet, we had the chance to travel to the opposite end of Paris and check out Museum Connections – a show billed as “The International Place for Museum Business”.

Our hope was to discover makers and brands skilled at channeling art and culture into products – but with a low profile in the licensing landscape. Virtual reality and robots were the overwhelming focus of exhibition technology suppliers, flanking a fairly eclectic array of manufacturers catering for museum boutiques. Alas, downmarket souvenirs and enterprising promotional gift suppliers were out in force, but we did find a few brands doing interesting things. In this setting, licensing is a slightly vexed issue – with many products on display providing examples of B2B commissions rather than collections openly available on the market.

Nevertheless, a few bright lights of inspiration were provided by made-for-purpose properties and, in particular, innovative uses of materials – from paper to brass and chocolate. These and other artisanal techniques, are highlighted in our reportage from the show.