The history of the Boucheron family

A family affair: Boucheron

The story of the jewellery house Boucheron


Boucheron guilloché enamel bracelet berganza hatton garden
Boucheron guilloché enamel bracelet, French, circa 1890.
Ref: 25224

Thursday 20th May 2021

Since its creation in 1858, quality, innovation and family have been at the forefront of the House of Boucheron. The Boucheron family believed that to build a reputation as a great jeweller one must incorporate the finest gemstones. It is this focus on quality that has placed Boucheron amongst the most prestigious of jewellery houses, appealing to collectors, royalty and celebrities alike.

Founded by Frédéric Boucheron in Paris, he employed the best artisans to craft his jewellery from the finest material. The quality and innovative spirit of his jewellery was recognised in 1867 when he was awarded a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle. Frédéric sought only the best gemstones for his creations, many of which were illustrated and detailed in the firm’s, Book of Stones. The collapse of several monarchies at this time resulted in many of the jewels belonging to these royal families coming onto the market and subsequently, some were acquired by Boucheron. For instance, in 1887 at the auction of the French Crown jewels, Boucheron purchased thirty-one diamonds, one of which Frédéric had set into a ring for his wife, Gabrielle.

In 1902 the firm passed to Frédéric’s son Louis and under his direction Boucheron remained at the for front of jewellery design, producing exquisite Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco pieces. Like his father, Louis Boucheron acquired only the highest quality gemstones, frequently travelling to India in search of them. The firm attracted wealthy clients, from European nobility and American elites to Eastern royalty such as the Maharajah of Patiala, who in 1928 arrived at Boucheron bearing six caskets filled with 7,571 diamonds, 1,432 emeralds, as well as pearls, sapphires and rubies. Boucheron was commissioned to set these incredible gemstones into 149 pieces of exquisite jewellery!

Boucheron then passed onto Louis’s son, Gérard. Gérard Boucheron is widely credited for the return to beautiful, delicate jewellery after the difficulty of the war years. Under his direction, the house produced pieces inspired by flora and fauna designed to celebrate nature. His beloved cat Wladimir, became his muse, featuring in multiple advertising campaigns, and cats have since become a reoccurring motif in Boucheron collections.

The firm passed to Gérard’s son, Alain in 1963 and Boucheron started to design bold statement pieces. Using materials such as rock crystal, coral, turquoise and lapis. The use of these gemstones continued into the 1970s and 80s when they were mixed with diamonds. This set the standard for daring retro jewellery, with its bright colours and mixture of textures.

As the House of Boucheron passed through four generations, each family member took it in a different direction stylistically, they all stayed true to Frédéric’s vision, using the highest quality gemstones to create innovative jewellery.

Boucheron Paris pearl and diamond brooch berganza hatton garden
Boucheron pearl and diamond brooch, French, circa 1920.
Ref: 25409
Boucheron Burmese sapphire diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Paris Burmese sapphire and diamond solitaire ring, French, circa 1935.
Ref: 20368
Boucheron Colombian emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Colombian emerald and diamond ring, French, circa 1920.
Ref: 25075
Boucheron Paris diamond cluster ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Paris diamond cluster ring, French, circa 1950.
Ref: 25819
Burmese ruby diamond ring Boucheron berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Burmese ruby and diamond ring, French, circa 1935.
Ref: 24559
Boucheron Colombian emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Boucheron Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring, circa 1960.
Ref: 17106
front view Vintage citrine ring by Boucheron berganza hatton garden
Vintage citrine dress ring by Boucheron, French, circa 1970.
Ref: 22670
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Updated 23/09/2021 at 4:29PM

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