LaCloche Frères, 50 x 50 x 12 mm, 91 g, circa 1925
An extremely decorative gold, enamel and diamond "Art deco" powder box - with original case
Case: 18k gold, French assay mark, British import mark. Square case, red and black enamel, the lid with chinoiserie decor, the back side accented with a shou character set with rose-cut diamonds. Seed pearl thumbpiece, opening to reveal a fitted mirror and a powder compartment with a gold lid, decorated with black enamelled flowers.
Since the 19th Century, LaCloche Frères and LaCloche have been synonymous with some of the greatest Jewellery and Objet's d'art ever produced. Visionary and artistic designs have always ensured a special cliental who desired unique pieces. Crowned heads, the titled and the famous have enjoyed LaCloche Frères for their own personal use and pleasure. The House is of course best known for its Art Deco Jewellery and Objet's d'art, hundreds of classic crafted works of jeweled art reflected the mood and discoveries of the period. LaCloche was the first Jewellery House to produce its own perfume label, "Parfum No1", way before any of its competitors.
Source: http://laclochefreres.com/history.html, as of 03/25/2014.
The Maison LaCloche Frères , a retail company founded in 1901, chose its objets d’art from the best workshops and most talented designers in Paris. Hardly anyone knew that it was the exquisite and fashionable pieces of great makers such as Louis Girard, Georges Verger, Rubel, Georges Lenfant, Strauss-Allard-Meyer and Halluin-Matlinger that helped to cement the firm’s reputation as one of the major jewellery houses of its time. For inspiration the brothers regularly looked at the fables of La Fontaine as well as at Oriental and Chinese artworks.
Léopold, Jules and Fernard Lacloche had originally had a workshop in Madrid and moved to Paris at the turn of the century; they opened a number of shops and in 1901 founded the famous Maison LaCloche Frères at 15, Rue de la Paix. The success of their company allowed the brothers to expand it rapidly - in 1912 they were able to open a branch in New Bond Street in London. During the First World War LaCloche Frères bought Fabergé’s London store and the stock that remained after the Russian government brought company staff and assets back to Russia. In the early 1920’s the company was most famous for their intricate and lavishly jewelled vanity and cigarette cases, lipstick holders, powder cases and other "necessities" for a fashionable society. In that LaCloche Frères followed their contemporaries Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Their rise to fame began in earnest after the 1925 Exposition Internationale in Paris, where the company’s jewellery was displayed in a Grand Palais with silver and gold columns; certainly the Maison LaCloche Frères profited heavily from the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. However, the company was forced to close its doors after the stock market crash of 1929 and was only able to retain one ground floor show room in Paris.
Case: very good, slightly chipped