The golden workshop – golden in style and reputation
The workshop of Georges Lenfant is today synonymous with effortlessly cool textured gold bracelets and chains, but for much of its early history it stood proudly behind the highest Parisian maisons of Place Vendôme – it was the workshop they turned to for some of their finest jewels.
Having completed multiple apprenticeships, Georges Lenfant established his stellar reputation at the beginning of the 19th century, by which time he was already creating jewels sold by the likes of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. By 1909, Georges recognised the popularity of his work for these maisons and so he registered his maker’s mark, which ensured that his work could be stamped and attributed to his workshop as well as to the grand retailers that he made for.
As the business grew and produced more under its own name, the Lenfant workshop attracted skilled goldsmiths and designers, including Jacques Lenfant, Georges’ son. Georges Lenfant took over the workshops of Sandoz and Verger Frères, whilst continuing to work with Cartier, Mellerio and Van Cleef & Arpels for jewellery, and Vacheron Constantin for watches.
Jewellery designs with Gérard Sandoz are renowned today as exciting examples of Art Moderne jewellery, but it is Jacques Lenfant’s textured and woven gold jewels of the 1950s to 1970s that have come to define Georges Lenfant’s individual design aesthetic. Whether on a Cartier jewel or Georges Lenfant jewel, the distinctive ‘GL’ maker’s mark always denotes fine craftsmanship.