When Gwydion Stone set out to learn exactly what absinthe was and how it was made in the pre-ban era, he began experimenting with formulas found in French distilling texts from the 1800s.
Having tasted numerous samples of actual pre-ban era absinthe, and armed with dozens of historic recipes—some dating from the early 1700s—he was uniquely qualified to recreate this historic beverage.
His results stood in stark contrast to the absinthes on the market at the time, and made it clear that very few, if any, were being made to historic standards. Recognizing the need for a more exemplary absinthe in a market saturated with artificially-colored novelty brands and imitations and their absurd and fantastic claims, he set out to produce a truly authentic 1800s style absinthe.
As a symbol of his working philosophy with his absinthe Stone chose the gavel, and he named the brand "Marteau", the French word meaning gavel or hammer.
One form of the gavel—a tool with its roots in the earliest stone-age ax— is the ancient stoneworker's gavel, used to break off the corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder’s use. Another form—as a symbolic implement—is the gavel of authority, used for the more noble purpose of divesting our heart and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, better fitting our minds to the building of good character.
For Stone, these gavels symbolize the chipping away and casting off of all of the superficial, sensational, and false ideas concerning absinthe—both in the physical reality of its composition and manufacture, as well as its social and moral reputation—and getting to reality of the drink, thereby creating a cornerstone on which to begin reviving absinthe as a dignified beverage, worthy of respect and admiration.