Exquisite vintage jewellery
Costume jewellery by Marcel Boucher (1898-1965) is said to be the closest to precious pieces in style and quality available. Consequently, he is considered to be among the finest designers of the 20th century.
Born in France, Boucher was apprenticed to Cartier in Paris, and transferred to its New York City branch in 1922. As a result of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, demand for “real” jewellery plummeted and – like many of his colleagues – Boucher was forced to look for work elsewhere. He designed shoe buckles for Mazer Bros before setting up his own company, Marcel Boucher et Cie, in 1937.
Success was assured in 1939 with the extraordinary commercial success of a collection of brooches he had been sold to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Boucher’s jewellery has a classic, French style. The elegant forms feature high-quality materials and settings and are the result of great attention to detail.
Birds of paradise, extraordinary blowfish and delicate flowers are typical of Boucher’s output. The naturalistic floral and foliate designs have a sense of movement while some of the bird, fish and animal pins are extravagant, fantasy pieces. The classic night and day flower pins can be opened and closed. By contrast, his geometric forms are designed to set off the quality of the stones.
Marks include Marboux, MB, Marcel Boucher and Boucher with the copyright symbol.
The company was run by Boucher’s second wife, Sandra, until 1972, when it was sold to American watchmaker Dovorn Industries.