Pierre Sterlet, known as a couturier jeweler, was considered an innovator all his life. The son of a banker, after the death of his father, he ended up in Paris at the house of his uncle, a jeweler. In 1934 Sterle opened his own workshop and received orders from Boucheron, Chaumet and Ostertag. His first studio on the Avenue Opera in Paris was visited by celebrities of the time, and his collaboration with the fashion house of Jacques Fath attracted sophisticated clients from all over the world. The jeweler's style is still relevant - fluid lines, harmonious color transitions and stunning quality of his work will never become outdated. Alas, Sterle turned out to be a bad businessman. The shop he opened did not generate income, and the jeweler went bankrupt. All his jewelry was bought by the Chaumet company and, having put the brand of the company, began to sell them under its own name. Until the end of his life Sterle remained a consultant to Chaumet. So if a bird of paradise with a flexible tail or a flowing waterfall of diamonds with the Chaumet brand appears among the auction lots, these are most likely things of the great Sterle.
Brooch Bird of Paradise, Chaumet © Chaumet press service
The Rubel Frères brothers are originally from Hungary, where they had a rather successful jewelry store in Budapest. In 1915, they moved to Paris and founded a small factory, which after a few years became one of the most significant (not in size, but in terms of authority and quality of performance) jewelry companies. At the same time, the brothers remained "unknown soldiers": their names were familiar only to the companies that placed orders with them, for example, Van Cleef & Arpels, a partnership with which lasted 20 years. Rubel Frères has produced many of the brand's textbook jewelry: an Egyptian-style watch commissioned by the Maharaja of Indore, the famous Rose bracelet with rubies and diamonds, which won the Grand Prix at the 1925 Paris World Exhibition.
1 of 5 Brooch Ballerina, Van Cleef & Arpels © Press Office Van Cleef & Arpels © Press Office Van Cleef & Arpels © Press Office Van Cleef & Arpels © Press Office Van Cleef & Arpels © Press Office Van Cleef & Arpels
In 1939, the brothers moved to New York, where a branch of Van Cleef & Arpels was opened. They were asked to create a workshop that would produce jewelry for sale in America. They agreed and in four years created the legendary ballerinas and dancers. It is said that John Rubel was so impressed by the movements of a flamenco performer in one of the New York clubs that he sketched a sketch of a brooch on a napkin. The next day, the designer of their workshop, Maurice Duvale, painted the future masterpiece in detail. This piece formed the basis of the iconic collection of Van Cleef & Arpels, and Maurice Duvale began to work simultaneously for both brands. Rubel Frères and Van Cleef & Arpels soon parted ways. The brothers continued to make jewelry for the American elite, including ballerinas. Today these things still delight thosewho are lucky enough to buy them at auctions.
Aldo Chipullo can be safely called a concept artist. In the 1970s, he made chains, screws and nails out of gold. The bracelet-nail - simple, without diamonds, as if pulled out of the joint and roughly wrapped around the wrist, has become the hallmark of Chipullo.
© press service Cartier
The nail, like his other creation - the Love bracelet, which is screwed onto the wrist with small screws - has become the best-selling jewelry of the Cartier brand. Over the years, they "matured", covered with diamonds and sold in thousands of copies around the world. But here's the paradox: if suddenly at some jewelry auction you come across a modest broken nail with the Aldo Cipullo brand, its price will be immeasurably higher than the new one.
Love bracelet, Cartier New York, 1977 © Cartier Press Office
The Kutchinski family emigrated from Poland, where they have been engaged in the jewelry business since the 19th century, working, among other things, for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. After settling in London, Hirsch Kutchinski and his son Morris opened a workshop. In the 1930s, Morris was joined by his sons Joseph and Solomon. In particular, Joseph made his company famous with brooches depicting funny animals.
Brooch Chat malicieux, Van Cleef & Arpels © Brooch Chat malicieux, Van Cleef & Arpels
It is with them that the brand is associated with jewelry connoisseurs. Joseph's business ingenuity was also enough to sell some of his ideas to Van Cleef & Arpels (for example, the famous winking cat) - the funny menagerie became for the French brand a symbol of the “free 60-70s” and the beginning of the prêt-à-porter line. Today, animals with the Kutchinski brand are extremely rare - there is a real hunt for them at auctions.>