Important Antique Jewelry Designers
Louis Aucoc (1850-1932) A leading Parisian art nouveau jeweler & goldsmith working with his father & brother. The Aucoc family firm was established in Paris in 1821 & was patronised by the house of King Louis Philippe, the House of Orléans, Napolean III & Empress Eugenie.
Frederic Boucheron (1830-1902) First jeweler in Place Vendome. Legend has it that he chose the spot because it was the sunniest corner & he believed that the diamonds in the windows would sparkle better. Czar Alexander III was a client as was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Cartier (est. 1847) was started by Louis-Francois Cartier in Paris. In 1874 his son Alfred took over the administration of the company but it was Alfred's sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the world-wide brand name of Cartier.
The House of Chaumet (est. 1780) is a high end jeweler based in Paris. Their flagship store at Place Vendome in Paris greets visitors with a portrait of Napoleon's second wife the Empress Marie Louise de Habsbourg-Lorraine. In the painting she is wearing jewels made for her by Chaumet founder Marie-Etienne Nitot.
Fabergé was founded in 1842 in Imperial Russia. Famed for designing elaborate jewel encrusted Eggs for the Russian Tsars. The Fabergé family traces back to 17th century France under the name Favri. The Favris lived at La Bouteille in the Picardy region & fled the country during or after 1685 to avoid religious persecution.
René Jules Lalique (1860-1945) At age 16 he apprenticed with the Parisian jeweller Louis Aucoc. Then from 1878-1880 he attended Sydenham Art College in London. Then he returned to France & worked for Aucoc, Cartier, Boucheron and others before starting his own house in 1886.
Fouquet (est. 1839) the firm’s founder Alphonse Fouquet entered the jewellery industry at the tender age of eleven; serving as an apprentice for Parisian jeweller Henri Meusnier. In 1860, after working for several firms he opened his own shop. In 1895 Alphonse’s son Georges assumed control of the business.
Giuliano (1860-1914) was founded by Italian goldsmith Carlo Giuliano. Known for producing exceptional neo-Renaissance and archaeological revival jewellery. Clientele included King Edward VII as well as Queen Victoria & Alexandra. Unfortunately the shop only remained open after his death until 1914.
Harry Winston (1896-1978) donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. His empire began with the acquisition of Arabella Huntington's jewelry collection. The pieces were old fashioned so he redesigned them into more contemporary styles & showcased his unique skill at crafting jewelry.
Charles Louis Tiffany (1812-1902) A leader in the American jewelry trade in the 19th century. Created the country's 1st retail catalog. Borrowed $1000 in 1837 from his father to set up a small stationery and gift shop in New York. His son Louis Comfort Tiffany became world renowned in art glass & jewelry design.
Van Cleef and Arpels (1896) At the dawn of the 20th century the union of Estelle Arpels & Alfred Van Cleef brought together beauty, charm, talent & elegance and a dynasty of jewellers began. From the very beginning Van Cleef & Arpels has insisted on selecting only the most beautiful gems for their creations.