Jules Wièse (1819-1890) is considered to be one of the finest French jewellers of the nineteenth century. He was among three preeminent Parisian goldsmiths producing exquisite silver jewellery in the Neo-Renaissance style. Born in Berlin, Wièse was apprenticed there to the court goldsmith Johann Georg Hossauer before moving to Paris. In France he first worked under J.-V. Morel as a chaser and jeweller, and finally Froment-Meurice from 1839. By 1844 he is recorded as holding the position of workshop manager, and in the same year he registered his own maker’s mark. In the next year he opened his own workshop with twenty five craftsmen at 7 Rue Jean Pain Molet, first working exclusively for Froment-Meurice, for which he was awarded a Collaborator’s Medal at the 1849 Paris Exposition. By the next Paris Exposition, in 1855, Wièse exhibited under his own name, winning himself a First Class Medal for his work in the Neo-Renaissance style. His contemporary M. Magne wrote the following of him and his display: ‘[Wièse is a] fine goldsmith and jeweller with an already distinguished reputation which can only be enhanced by his display. The importance of his pieces and his brave experiments reveal, even in the most modest work, an awareness of art and beauty which deserves to be encouraged by the jury’. More medals for his work were to follow, including the Medal of Honour at the 1862 London Exposition.
After his death in 1890, his son Louis Wièse assumed management of the firm, registering his own maker’s mark in that year. Louis carried on the excellent standards established by his father until his own death in 1923. During this time he produced extremely fine gold jewellery, often bejewelled and enamelled, much of it Classical or Renaissance in theme.