The Timeless Jewels of Jean Schlumberger
Jean Schlumberger Jewellery Australia
Jean Schlumberger was born in 1907 in Mulhouse in Alsace, near the Swiss border. He loved sketching, but was discouraged by his parents, who wanted him to be a banker. However by the 1930s he was in New York creating buttons and costume jewellery for Elsa Schiaparelli.
In the Second World War Schlumberger joined the French Army, and was evacuated from Dunkirk. He served under General de Gaulle in England and with the Free French in the Middle East
After the War he went to New York, and opened a jewellery salon with Nicolas Bongard. Ten years later Thomas Hoving, who was Chairman of Tiffany’s for 25 years, asked him to design for them and gave him his own workshop, salon and private lift.
Schlumberger’s clients included the Duchess of Windsor, Babe Paley, Greta Garbo, Mona von Bismarck, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, the Duchess of Kent, Gloria Vanderbilt, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy.
One of Schlumberger’s best known pieces is Bird on the Rock, the setting he created for the 128.54 yellow Tiffany diamond, typical of the bejewelled glory of flowers, exotic birds and mythical creatures statements he is famous for. “It’s very complicated,” he once told a reporter, ‘I make jewels, but I hate modern jewellery — and I can’t tell people I make antique jewels!”
Jackie Kennedy wore her Schlumberger enamel bracelets so often that the media called them Jackie bracelets.
“I try to make everything look as if it were growing, uneven, at random, organic, in motion,” Schlumberger said. His original sketches are now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and the largest collection of Schlumberger objects was given by Paul Mellon to The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. “I try to make everything look as if it were growing, uneven, at random, organic, in motion.”
The only four jewellers whom Tiffany has allowed to sign their work have been Jean Schlumberger, Paloma Picasso, Elsa Peretti and Frank Gehry.
Jean Schlumberger is a name that every jewellery collector should have in their collection. If you are looking for a Schlumberger piece — or a bespoke piece of jewellery or an engagement ring — call Karen Lindley at Diamonds by Design. Diamonds by Design has specialized in bespoke jewellery design and the creation and sale of fine jewellery for nearly 40 years, and we’ll find or make something gorgeous for you.
Jean Schlumberger Jewellery Australia: Rings, Necklaces, Earrings
Image Source: Christies