Maison Lacloche Freres
Maison Lacloche Frères was a retail business which selected its works from the top talented designers and workshops of Paris that the public was unaware of. Calling on workers for the great jewelers, Louis Girard, Georges Verger, Rubel, Georges Lenfant, Strauss-Allard-Meyer, and Halluin-Matlinger, the reputation of the firm as one of the premiere jewelers of on trend pieces grew rapidly after the 1925 Exposition Internationale in Paris. The Lacloche brothers drew their inspiration from Oriental and Chinese art as well as the fables of La Fontaine.
The Lacloche brothers, Léopold, Jules, and Fernard moved to Paris from Madrid around the turn of the century and established a series of jewelry shops, finally founding the Maison Lacloche Frères at 15 rue de la Paix in 1901. The firm continued to expand, in 1912 opening a shop on New Bond Street in London. During the First World War, Lacloche bought Faberge’s London store and remaining stock when the Russian government repatriated Faberge’s personnel and assets. In the early 1920’s the firm, following the lead of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, was known for their art of the nécessaire, which consisted of creating elaborate jeweled vanity and cigarette cases, lipstick holders, powder cases, and other holders for the fashionable feminine accessories of the day. Gaining fame following the 1925 Exposition Internationale, celebrating the grandeur of victorious France with a Grand Palais with silver and gold columns to showcase the jewelry displays the firm profited from the excess of the Roaring Twenties. The crash of 1929 forced the firm to close its branches and only retain a ground floor showroom in Paris.
Company inventory books from 1932-1938 record the variety of styles and products offered. During the 1930’s the firm primarily sold bracelets, brooches, adjustable clips, and various rings with motifs of the modernist aesthetic. After 1934 the pieces captured in the inventory books foreshadow designs popular in the 1940’s. Clips were the most popular piece of jewelry, taking on many forms and motifs, stepped clips, double clips, ear clips, hair clips, in various patterns and forms from the Owl design to a clip in the shape of a curled wood shaving.
In 1936 Jacques Lacloche opened a jewelry shop at 8 place Vendôme with the name SARL Jacques Lacloche. The SARL shop remained open with Jacques Lacloche, nephew of the original Lacloche brothers, until 1966 when he closed to pursue a career in Contemporary Art.