Boucheron (The House of Boucheron) (1858 - present) refers to one of the best luxury and notable jewelers in the world. It is a prestigious French jewellery house and one of the world's greatest master jewelers founded by Frederic Boucheron in 1858.
It has been under the direction of four (4) generations of Boucheron Family, but the house was acquired by the Gucci Group in 2000. In 2004, Jean-Christophe Bedos joined the brand and he is currently its CEO.
The Bouceron style is composed of major three (3) elements based on the style and dircetion of its founder Frederic Boucheron:
(1) romantic 19th century roots in art movements, particularyly symbolism;
(2) very strong femininity; and
(3) oriental influence
History of Boucheron:
Boucheron store was opened to the public in 1858 by Frederic Boucheron, but even before opening it, he already apprenticed at the fashionable Parisian jewellery house Deschamps. Boucheron, has become one of most important jewellery houses of our time.
Though he started with little capital and a small stock of jewellery, Boucheron quickly attracted the attention of the Parisian trendsetters. Among his specialities were (1) lacy gold metalwork embellished with diamonds; (2) engraved diamonds which is uncommon until today; and (3) delicate plique-a-jour enamelling. The gemstones he used were carefully selected for color and quality.
From its launching more than 150 years ago, Boucheron has developed a faithful and growing clientele, including. Tiffany and Company.
In 1867, Boucheron won a grand prize for jewellery at Paris's International Exposition for pieces in the archaeological revival and Louis XVI styles.
In 1876, the French government presented Frederic Boucheron with a Legion of Honor award for his jewellery and many more awards from international expositions.
In 1893, Boucheron had taken up residence at 26 Place Vendome, Paris. By the turn of the century, the firm had enough name recognition and capital and opened branches in London and America.
The founder of Boucheron, Frederic died in 1902, leaving the company to his son Louis. In the early 1930"s, the firm expanded its presence to the Middle East and South America. Fred and Gerard Boucheron, Louis's sons, literally carried Boucheron's jewellery all over the globe, offering private showings to important clients. During the 30's and 40"s, Boucheron popularized detachable dress clips that could be worn separately or combined into a single piece, depending on one's outfit or mood. During the Retro period, like other jewelers, its designers made ample use of three-dimensional motifs, flexible chains, and tassels.
As 20th century comes forward, Boucheron stayed at the cutting edge of fashion. It produced exquisite Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Art Deco pieces.
In 1962, control of the firm passed to Gerard's son, Alain. Under his direction, the firm returned to materials it had used at the beginning of the century: rock crystal quartz, coral, wood, turquoise. In the 1970's and 80"s, Boucheron designers were keen to mix such materials with diamonds and other precious stones to create large, impressive pieces.
Until today, Boucheron's designs often feature bubbly, carved multicolour gemstones. Geometric lines, tassels, mesh. Design elements from the firm's past which are combined with modern design components.
To celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2008, the French House of Boucheron released "The High Jewelry Collection". Every piece of this collection was worked on by seven different experts and took over 12,000 hours to complete, from the design to the final polish.
Among Boucheron's noble and royalty clients were: Princess Katarina von Henckel-Donnersmarck's diamond tiara was made by Boucheron, composed of diamonds in various sizes and shapes. The design of the tiara is oddly reminiscent of a lace collar rising to apeak, atop which is the biggest jewel of all.
Frederic Boucheron 1830-1902
Louis Boucheron 1874- 1959
1844 Frederic Boucheron does an apprenticeship in the workshop of Jules Chaise, a Paris jeweller. He then trained with Tixier-Duchamps, in Paris.
1858 The House of Boucheron is founded. He chose the path of jewellery rather than drapery, his family trade. He set up the first Boucheron shop at the Palais Royal, the centre of Paris high jewellery. He is said to have opened with family help, and just 100,000 French Francs. He soon acquired fame as an expert in precious stones, a masterful technician and a creator of beautiful jewellery.
1867 Frederic wins his first Gold Medal at the ‘Paris Universal Exhibition", nine years after opening his first boutique.
1876 Exhibited at the' Philadelphia Centennial'.
1878 The Foliage necklace was designed by Jules Debut the Paris Universal Exhibition. It comprised a 159 carat blue sapphire, which at the time was considered to be the most beautiful in the world and was created for Mrs. Clarence Mackay. It won the Grand Prize.
1883 Prince Felix Youssoupoff of Russia purchases a corsage comprising six diamond bows during one of his visits to Paris.
1893 Boucheron was the first jeweller to set up in the Place Vendome, Paris, in the previous residence of the Countess of Castiglione. He was soon followed by a multitude of other great names. He is said to have chosen the corner to make the most of the Paris sunshine, which he believed would make the diamonds shine even more.
1898 Boucheron opens a branch in Moscow which was later transferred to St. Petersburg in 1911.
1901 Boucheron founded a partnership that brought together Georges Radius, Francois Aubert, and Rene Huot. The same year, he decided to involve his son Louis.
1902 Frederic Boucheron dies. Frederic died leaving his son Louis Boucheron, a civil engineer, a law graduate and a judge at the 'Tribunal de Commerce', to take over the house.
1903 Louis Boucheron opened a branch in London.
1921 The house of Boucheron was commissioned to make a tiara for Lady Greville; who between 1900 and 1925 purchased a recorded 47 pieces from the Maison. The tiara was given to England's Queen Elizabeth in a will in 1947.
1928 The Maharajah of Patiala asks Boucheron to set the stones of his treasury. They were brought to the Place Vendome boutique by the Prince's private guards.
1935 Until this date, HRH Prince Albert Edward of England is recorded to have bought 75 pieces from the London Boucheron, surely for his fiancee Miss Dudley Ward. He later bought a diamond clip for Wallis Simpson, who he would marry. Boucheron re-used materials from original war vehicles, using acacia wood from propellers.
1936 Louis Boucheron brought his two sons, Fred and Gerard into the firm.
1939 Fred and Gerard Boucheron were responsible for the firm's participation at the ‘Universal Exhibition' in New York, which opened its doors at the time of the declaration of World War II. Both Fred and Gerard were mobilized.
1959 Louis Boucheron dies. His two sons Fred and Gerard were left in charge of the business, thus keeping it within the family. The French singer Edith Piaf, who had been rising to fame since the late 1930"s, purchased a Boucheron watch for Marcel Cerdan, the boxer, who is said to have been the one love of her life. The French singer Edith Piaf, who had been rising to fame since the late 30s , purchased a Boucheron watch for Marcel Cerdan, the boxer, who is said to have been the one love of her life.
1962 Fred Boucheron retired, remaining fragile as a result of the war. He sold his shares to Gerard, who remained sole head of the establishment.
1970 The best selling ‘Snake" line was created.
1973 Boucheron's first boutique opens in Japan.
1978 Princess Grace of Monaco purchases pieces, advised by Alain Boucheron.
1980 Gerard Boucheron retires and Alain Boucheron becomes President and General Manager.
2000 The Gucci Group acquires the House of Boucheron.
2002 Boucheron launches the ‘Beaute Dangereuse" collection. Helped by Solange Azagury Partridge, the brand also re-launches its staple ‘Snake" pieces.
2005 Boucheron opens its first boutique in Shanghai and its first flagship branch in Dubai.
2006 Boucheron opens its first boutique in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Launch of the "Exquises Confidences” jewellery line.
2008 Boucheron marks its 150th anniversary with year long celebrations, including collaborations with the Hatton Garden trained Shaun Leane, who created, perhaps influenced by the 1878 ‘Foliage" Necklace, a piece including a blue sapphire hidden in a cascade of thorn-like foliage .
Boucheron has been known for their rich colored stones, and their creations have ranged from enamels to inlay decorations, to lace-work, to engraved diamonds and royal commissions in Europe and the Far East.