The Rochettes were opticians and makers of mathematical instruments who ran two shops on the Quai d’Horloge in Paris.
“Rochette Père” was Gaspard Rochette (1754–1822) at number 75. At the end of the 18th century, he was known for the quality of his achromatic objectives, and won a national award for it. Surviving instruments with either signature include telescopes, assorted surveying equipment and a graphometer (signed Rochet). His first known professional address was the Quai du Nord in 1794, but he had moved to the Quai d’Horloge by 1805 and was still there in 1820.
Little is recorded about his son, “Rochette Jeune” (?–1845), apart from his products. Even his forename is unknown, although the use of “Jeune” (Junior) suggests that his forename was the same as his father’s. By 1808, he was in partnership with Marie Gonichon (1746-1831) at au Griffon, Quai d’Horloge 81, and listed as Putois et Rochette Jeune in trade directories. Marie was the wife of Etienne Putois (1753-1828), a famous Paris optician of the 18th century. Etienne retired around 1817 and left Paris. Rochette Jeune was then listed as sole owner of the business and labels on some instruments show him as being the successor to Marie Putois. He sold microscopes and telescopes, as well as mathematical and surveying equipment, forestry and mining compasses and Davy lamps. After his partnership with the Chevaliers ended in 1824, Alexander Gillies (also known as “Selligue”) turned to Rochette Jeune to produce and sell the microscope that he had designed.
Rochette Jeune appears to have gone out of business or died around 1845.
There were optical businesses called “au Griffon” on the Quai d’Horloge (although the buildings were periodically renumbered), continuously from at least the early 18th century.