Guy Barton is looking for bold gold jewelry with the initials GL, for Georges Lenfant. “It’s a hidden mark that implies amazing, unparalleled top quality,” stated Mr. Barton, the director of Hancocks London, the classic jewelry vendor founded in 1849.
As anyone who has dealt with examples of fantastic jewelry from each and every interval, Mr. Barton reported that no other goldsmith has matched the craftsmanship and creative imagination of the mid-20th century-maker. “You can instantaneously inform a Lenfant piece when you hold it,” he mentioned. “It is tactile and versatile it has inventive finishes and textures and movement.”
Lenfant’s title is regarded by classic sellers and educated collectors, but it’s likely that some people who have Lenfant items don’t comprehend it. That’s simply because for many years Georges Lenfant and his son, Jacques, collaborated on layouts with just about just about every significant jewelry property, from Cartier to Van Cleef & Arpels. The Lenfants’ hallmark, a diamond-form stamp with the initials, appeared along with the names of renowned residences on jewellery and also was stamped on the gold bracelets of watches from Rolex, Hermès and Vacheron Constantin.
Lately, nonetheless, the Lenfants are eventually having recognition over and above jewelry’s internal circles. With the renewed fascination in assertion gold jewelry, folks are exploring their placing layouts, said Russell Zelenetz, a partner in Stephen Russell, a jewellery retailer on Madison Avenue. “Customers are drawn to the jewellery simply because of the seem and the way it feels. Lenfant was a genius in the way he manipulated, hand-wove, and concluded the gold.”
Mr. Zelenetz has been amassing and marketing Lenfant items considering that he and Stephen Feuerman recognized the organization 39 yrs back. Its current providing involves a amount of pieces from the 1960s, such as an oversize 18-karat gold Hermès Chaîne d’Ancre website link bracelet stamped with Georges Lenfant’s initials and a supple 18-karat gold mesh buckle bracelet developed by Jacques Lenfant.
The business commenced as Duparc and Lenfant in 1899, and Georges Lenfant registered his initials as his maker’s mark in 1909. His workshop was close to Paris’s Spot Vendôme, now the coronary heart of the world’s luxury jewelry properties. In 1915, Jacques, then 11, joined the enterprise though continuing his studies at the École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs in Paris and later apprenticing with jewelers in Germany, Austria and England. (Ultimately some of his patterns had been stamped Jacques Lenfant for Georges Lenfant.)
Over the years, the Lenfants created a selection of items, from diamond rings to whimsical jeweled brooches in animal styles. But following Earth War II, when females desired statement jewellery that mirrored their newfound impartial spirit, Jacques Lenfant pushed the boundaries of metalwork to produce modern pieces in gold — what he identified as a “harmony of appears, designs and textures” in his e-book “Le livre de la chaîne,” released in 1996, a 12 months following his loss of life.
“His gold jewellery,” Mr. Barton reported, “was the backbone of the midcentury bold gold motion.”
“Lenfant’s chains are lovely and seamless, and they move correctly,” explained Loren Teetelli, a Los Angeles-based mostly jeweler properly trained in historic metalsmithing, who spends three to 5 times creating a solitary gold chain for her Loren Nicole selection.
“When you keep a handmade chain,” she explained, “it feels various, moves different and has a heft that you can not get with casting.”
Jacques Lenfant pulled gold into slender wires that then ended up woven into flexible lengths, so even a huge mesh bracelet appeared to hug the wearer’s wrist. His ending approaches integrated etching gold to make sparkle, sharpening it to a large glow and sanding for a matte influence.
“Gold do the job is a massively expert craft,” Mr. Zelenetz claimed. “Jacques Lenfant pushed the boundaries of what was probable. He was developing exclusive models that hadn’t been noticed ahead of. Even his clasps had been exceptional and integrated seamlessly into the layout.”
After Jacques Lenfant’s dying in 1995, the firm stopped developing Lenfant jewellery and the workshop was bought.
But Anthony Barzilay Freund, the editorial director at 1stDibs, the on the net property and structure retailer, said Lenfant is ripe for rediscovery. “It’s really insider for now, but I believe it will alter since we are in a time period when people want statement gold jewellery,” he mentioned.
A modern look for for Lenfant on the 1stDibs web-site turned up far more than 50 jewels and watches, ranging from a 1970s gold zodiac pendant from Van Cleef & Arpels and Lenfant ($16,500) to a 1950s Vé gold hyperlink bracelet by Jacques Lenfant for Georges Lenfant ($38,000). The sellers established rates on 1stDibs, with people for Lenfant items ranging from $16,000 to $18,000.
Mr. Barton said Lenfant jewellery represents very good benefit, as a piece would be less costly than, for example, a gold vintage bracelet signed by Cartier.
“At the moment, I don’t assume the Lenfants are acquiring the recognition that they ought to have,” Mr. Barton explained. But he thinks that will not previous substantially more time.