Louis Rousselet Jewelry History

Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l Presents
Researching Costume Jewelry
by creator and author Dotty Stringfield
European Designer Jewelry
by Ginger Moro

Printed with permission of Ginger Moro
© 1995

Louis Rousselet (1892-1980) was born in Paris and apprenticed at the tender age of eight to M. Rousseau to master the technique of lamp-work beads. “Before World War I, it was common practice to apprentice young children to a trade. Families needed as many working members as possible,” reports Denise Rousselet, Louis’ daughter. In 1922, in Menilmontant, Louis began manufacturing glass and Galalith beads as well as imitation pearls (glass beads coated on the outside with essence d’Orient, a fish scale compound). Very soon his firm was a major source of handmade beads worldwide, employing nearly 800 workers over the years.

Left:    Emerald green glass beads set in gilded brass flower petals with “emerald” drops and gilded chains by Louis Rousselet, 1948, for couturier Robert Piguet. Stamped “Made in France” on clasp.

Denise Rousselet designed occasional collections for her father from 1943 until 1965, when she took over the exclusive design duties. In 1960 she opened a tiny shop named Jeanne Danjou (her mother’s name was Jeanne) on the Ile de la Cite’ where she sold Rousselet beads separately from trays and boxes piled in every corner. Rousselet beads were all hand-wound and polished. Madame Rousselet reports that it took six or seven years to train workers, an expensive procedure which came to an end when the last trained worker retired in 1975. There was a wide variety of colors and styles of beads: foiled; iridescent, or lamp-wound multicolored swirls were produced in the same way for fifty years.

Right:    Two pearl sautoirs by Rousselet designed for Chanel Boutique, 1948-52, restrung. The baroque pearl with strass has a large baroque pearl pendant; the grey and white pearl sautoir has a grey baroque pearls and white pearl tassel tipped with grey pearls. With paper label “Louis Rousselet Made in France”.

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Left:    Grey pearl earrings with white and grey pearl tassels, and floral earrings of ruby and emerald glass and pearls with emerald drops 40’s designs remounted by Rousselet, marked France.
Photographs by Robert Weldon.

An autographed copy of  European Designer Jewelry   may be purchased from Ginger Moro at http://www.gingersjewels.com.

See additional information on Louis Rousselet at Researching Costume Jewelry – R.

Another beautiful Rousselet necklace Courtesy Jan Gaughan of Eclectic Vintage:

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