Louis Gerard was an ambiguous Frenchman who founded his own jewellery company after working for several years at Van Cleef and Arpels. In 1968 he established his eponymous boutique, M. Gerard, at No. 18 Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Jewellery Maker Profile: M. Gérard
The Most Beautiful Jewels in the World
From 1968 until 1985, M. Gerard produced lavish jewellery dripping in diamonds for an equally glittering clientele. Many of his pieces were manufactured by Andre Vassort, whose workshop made many important Van Cleef and Arpels designs. It is likely this connection was made by Gerard while working for Van Cleef, and which he clearly continued to maintain in his own business venture. Many of Gerard’s pieces bear the marks of Vassort’s Atelier.
Gerard’s self-confidence was boundless. He attracted a rich set of international clients, impressed by his confidence in creating “the most beautiful jewels in the world.” He enjoyed throwing lavish shows for new pieces in the fashionable sites of Europe, from Cannes to Monte Carlo. He also opened branches in London, Gstaad, Lausanne.
However by 1985, his lavish spending had exceeded his profits, and faced with financial instability, he sold the business to a group of American investors. Having not given up entirely on his passion for jewellery, he attempted to relaunch the business in 1988. This time opening ‘Louis Gerard: Joaillier International’ a few doors down from his initial boutique, at No. 16 Avenue Montaigne. Unfortunately, Gerard’s taste for the finest materials and lavish approach to business led to the permanent closure in 1991.
Yet, the name Gerard lives on today upon some of the finest quality French fine jewellery.
Floral Motifs and Modern Edge
In 1980 M. Gerard ran an advertisement in magazines proclaiming that at No. 8, Avenue Montaigne you can purchase “Les Plus Prestigieux Joyaux du Monde”. The advertisement was accompanied by a necklace displayed on a manikins neck draped with white silk. The glowing diamond studded choker was set in a scarf-like design. Three large cushion cut rubies are arranged in a cluster at the throat, and a parallel pair of smaller rubies sit higher, marking the collar bones.
M.Gerard’s jewels are indeed of a premiere standard, with only the finest gemstones being used and set by the expert hands of skilled craftsmen. Gerard’s style is classical, often reminiscent of the opulence of parures produced in the Belle Époque for grand balls and opera going aristocracy. Yet, a modern edge pervades through the use of yellow gold settings.
Floral motifs are typical of Gerard’s jewels, with a joyful sense of vitality created by the setting of marquise diamonds on an angle. An emerald and diamond demi-parure is available at Morelle Davidson. The joy of spring spreads from the articulated necklace and drop pendant ear-clips. The pieces are set into a blossom design. Cabochon emeralds alternate between brilliant-cut pave diamond clusters that summon up the sweet and crisp smell of budding blossom sprigs.