During the Jazz Age, the Parisian jeweler Maison Lacloche dazzled on both sides of the Atlantic. Established in 1901 on the Rue de la Paix, this family business rapidly became Cartier’s biggest competitor, and probably the most celebrated jewelry house you’ve never heard of. For 70 dazzling years, its clients included the likes of King Edward VII, the Spanish royal family, and Hollywood stars such as Grace Kelly. “Bendor,” the Duke of Westminster, commissioned Lacloche to create a magnificent diamond halo tiara, which included two historic Arcot diamonds, to frame the sad face of his third wife, Loelia Ponsonby—solace, one speculates, for his continued dalliances with other women.
It was all the rage for women to snap open a Lacloche necessaire—enamel and gold Japonisme—to smoke or apply makeup in public. L’École, School of Jewelry Arts, in Paris, is hosting an exciting retrospective that brings the refined craftsmanship of this spectacular house back into the spotlight. Curated by Laurence Mouillefarine, “The Belle Époque of the Maison Lacloche” runs until mid-December.