Mauboussin

Look out for this Maison’s stylish Art Deco jewels

The long-established Parisian Maison Mauboussin has seen a lot. Opened by Monsieur Rocher as a jewellery workshop in 1827, the company’s first fifty years were lived out amid French political and social upheaval. With his successor, Jean-Baptiste Noury, they saw through a war, two revolutions, a coup and a cholera epidemic.

In this climate, Georges Mauboussin, nephew of Noury, started as an apprentice in his uncle’s business. By 1883, he was manager of the workshops and had control of the company in 1898, choosing a new premises that housed all production and sales, with a private salon on the first floor to maintain high levels of discretion. Paris was fast becoming the main stage for jewellery, but with this stage came competition.

Having survived the nineteenth century, Georges Mauboussin’s team excelled in 1920s Paris. This was a Paris alive with painters, writers, dancers and designers, all appealing to the princes and Maharajahs travelling to find excitement after the First World War. Mauboussin catered to this longing for the modern with bright, carved coloured stones to create overflowing jewelled vases of flowers in a modish Art Deco style. Jewels of the Art Deco movement became Mauboussin’s golden moment.

The Maison’s designers stepped closer to Cubism by pairing round and angular gems to play with lines and form, which attracted the attention of Art Deco connoisseur Yashwant Rao Holkar, the Maharajah of Indore, who entrusted Mauboussin with setting some of his collection of impressive gemstones and diamonds.

The Maison’s success in the 1930s led to a partnership with New York jeweller Trabert & Hoeffer to form Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin Inc. Together, they drew in jewellery lovers with their ‘Reflection – Your Personality in a Jewel’ concept: they encourage women to design their own jewels by producing a range of shapes that could be arranged around each other with gemstones like citrine, moonstones and aquamarine.

In the years following the Second World War, Mauboussin recognised the growing number of women buying jewellery for themselves. As a result, they opened the windows of their new Place Vendôme boutique, a move that allowed a greater range of people to be introduced to Mauboussin jewels.

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