The House of Boucheron and The Art Deco

An Art Deco 18ct white gold Boucheron, diamond and aquamarine dress clip

Over millennia jewellery has held a fascination for humankind bringing together timeless gems, the skill of the craftsman and the beauty of the jewel. Jewellery often marks important moments in our lives, points of love, and the procession of history. Jewellery evolves to the delight of successive generations.

Amongst the leading designers and makers of the 20th century was the house of Boucheron. This French firm represents a family dynasty founded by Frederic Boucheron in 1858 who opened his first store in the Galerie de Valois at Palais Royal in Paris. The cornerstone of Boucheron’s reputation for making pieces of the finest quality was seeded in 1866 when he won a Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1867.

Jewellery designs from earlier periods have always been reinterpreted and adapted over the centuries with collectors prepared to pay a premium for original pieces. Alongside date and the quality of the stones the essential ingredient is the eye of a designers and makers like Boucheron and the skill of the maker.

In the first decades of the 20th century mainstream taste gravitated towards restrained clean lines.

These same qualities can be found in the Art Deco. Art Deco was a fashionable style in the inter-war years of the 20th century. It co-existed with machine age styles and modernism with clean lines and geometric designs. Art Deco combined the styles of early 20th century modernism with the avant-garde employing the fine craftsmanship and rich materials of French classical design. The principles of Art Deco chimed with the classical but with a new and fresh expression in contrast to the Art Nouveau which preceded it.

An Art Deco Boucheron Paris black onyx and black enamelled brooch, designed as a stylized feather mounted with cushion shaped diamonds

Boucheron embraced this new style as can be seen in the delicate design of the gold, black onyx and black enamelled brooch designed as a stylized feather mounted with cushion shaped diamonds.

The small Art Deco Boucheron 18ct white gold clip’s beautifully conceived fan design is set with circular cut diamonds set off by the delicate blue of the calibre cut aquamarines.

Both jewels were detailed ‘Boucheron’ and sold for £5000 and £12000 respectively at Toovey’s.

Throughout the 20th century the house of Boucheron remained one of the world’s great jewellery designers and makers. Queen Elizabeth II had a collection of Boucheron jewellery. Today the House of Boucheron continues as one of the world’s great luxury brands and delights collectors around the world.