Louis Rousselet Jewelry History

Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l
is pleased to host this article from
Researching Costume Jewelry

 originally published by Dotty Stringfield on IllusionJewels.com


European Designer Jewelry
by Ginger Moro

Printed with permission of Ginger Moro


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.

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.


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.

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


Photographs by Robert Weldon.


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