For many, Jean Schlumberger is not a concept. At the same time, the silent designer has decisively contributed to the success of the traditional company Tiffany & Co.. He designed the legendary Jacqueline Kennedy bracelets and worked the yellow Tiffany diamonds into a beautiful brooch.
Jean Schlumberger and Tiffany’s & Co.
Jean Schlumberger (1907-1987) grew up with four siblings in Mulhouse, France. Although Schlumberger proved his artistic talent in his earliest youth, his father Edouard, the owner of a textile factory, refused formal training. His career began in 1930, when he designed buttons for Elsa Schiaparelli. Later, she commissioned him to design jewellery for her company.
His promising start to the career was abruptly interrupted by the Second World War. He served in the French army, where he survived the Battle of Dunkirk. After the war, Schlumberger turned his back on Europe and emigrated to America. In 1946 he opened his own jewellery business with his business partner Nicolas Bongard. In 1956 Schlumberger was asked by the managing director of the renowned jeweler Tiffany’s & Co. Walter Hoving to design his own collection. Since then, he has been an integral part of Tiffany’s & Co. The company provided him with his own studio, where he worked until his retirement in 1970. Even today, his creations belong to the four who are allowed to sign their own designs themselves.
I watch nature and find energy.
A bracelet for the First Lady
His customers included the most beautiful and richest women of his time. He designed jewellery for Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duchess of Windsor, Ava Gardner, Gloria Vanderbilt and Audrey Hepburn. Jean Schlumberger was inspired by floral and animal elements, his creations reflected the wonderful world of nature. Especially the world of the seas seemed to have done it to him. He worked creations with starfish, fish, birds or margarites to create works of art.
With the arrival of Jean Schlumberger’s creative ideas, Tiffany & Co. also introduced technical innovations. Schlumberger loved experimenting and discovered the forgotten paillonné technique. He created transparent colours by applying enamel to 18 karat gold. A technique which he uses for the legendary Jackie Bracelets by Jacqueline Kennedy. The Firstlady then often carried several of these bracelets. They are still coveted It-Pieces today at Tiffany & Co.
sources: click on the images