World's Oldest Family Jeweler Celebrates 400 Years With High Jewelry Collection

Dec 24 2013, 2:16pm CST | by

World's Oldest Family Jeweler Celebrates 400 Years With High Jewelry Collection
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Mellerio dits Meller Medici Jewelry Collection

As 2013 comes to an end I feel this is the proper time to recognize a truly monumental achievement in the jewelry industry. The Parisian high jewelry house, Mellerio dits Meller, spent this year celebrating its 400th anniversary.

The luxury jeweler, whose client list over the centuries includes nearly all of European royalty, is now in its 14th generation of family ownership and continual operation. It is considered to be the oldest jeweler in the world and the oldest family-owned company in Europe, as well as some other claims of longevity. It has the original books and paperwork to back up those claims in its rich archives, which are kept in its 9 Rue de la Paix boutique and workshop.

The firm specializes in hand-made haute joaillerie (high jewelry), most of it created on premise. The company was founded by the Mellerio family in 1613 in the rural region of northern Italy that borders Switzerland. It was created because of an act of royalty. Specifically, Marie de’ Medici, Queen of France, granted special privileges to the Mellerio family by royal decree, which allowed the family firm to trade throughout much of Europe. Royalty has run through the jeweler’s veins ever since.

The family firm started trading in Versailles in 1777, and attracted the patronage of its most famous client, Marie Antoinette. In 1796, the firm moved to Rue Vivienne, Versailles, retaining the patronage of the Empress Josephine. The family firm then moved to Paris eventually settling at 9 Rue de la Paix.

The company opened a second shop in Madrid in 1850 to service the Spanish royal family, including Queen Isabella II. It has a long close relationship with the Dutch royal court. It also operates in Luxembourg and Japan.

Olivier and François Mellerio are the 14th generation of the dynasty who currently operate the business. I spoke with Laurent Baty, general manager, briefly and another company official that will be used for a story in 2014. I asked if there were any plans ever to sell the business and the answer was a resounding no, as the family takes great pains to remain independent.

To celebrate its milestone the company created a high jewelry collection named after its founding patron, Marie de’ Medici, which represents the grand history of the royal jeweler.

To create the Medici collection, the family looked into its past using its rich archives. They also invited well-known jewelry designer, Edéenne, a Canadian native who now works in Paris. She created modern interpretations of jewelry inspired by the old drawings.

The result is a collection of pieces inspired by nature that are sensual, complex and at the same time easy to wear. There are openwork pieces and items made with “grey” gold. There are pieces that are rough in texture, recreating an antique feel. And of course there’s a tiara. In this case one that converts into a necklace, which harkens back to 19th Century jewelry usage.

The company also released a book, in French, chronicling its history, Mellerio dits Meller: Joaillier des Reines, by Vincent Meylan, published by Éditions Télémaque.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network blog, the Jewelry News NetworkFacebook Page, and on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Sleep apnea affects everyday memory
New York, Oct 30 (IANS) Sleep apnea may affect your ability to form new spatial memories such as remembering where you parked your car, a research found.
 
 
Planet-forming lifeline found in binary star system
New York, Oct 30 (IANS) Astronomers have discovered a sustaining, planet-forming lifeline in a binary star system.
 
 
Texas nurse returning from Ebola mission to be quarantined
Houston, Oct 30 (IANS) A female nurse who just returned to the US state of Texas after caring for Ebola patients in West Africa will voluntarily self-quarantine herself at home for the next three weeks, Governor Rick Perry has said.
 
 
US participating in regional Ebola forum in Cuba
Havana, Oct 30 (IANS/EFE) More than 250 officials and specialists from 32 countries, including the US, are participating in a regional technical forum here to exchange information about strategies to fight Ebola and coordinate efforts to prevent the spread of the virus to the region.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Storm forces evacuation of 1,000 people in Argentina
Buenos Aires, Oct 30 (IANS/EFE) The Argentine government Wednesday activated an emergency plan to help those affected by the powerful storm that struck 17 municipalities in Buenos Aires province over the past 24 hours...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Melissa Rivers wants answers not money
Melissa Rivers wants answers about Joan Rivers' death. The TV producer, who is preparing to file a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic in New York City, where her mother...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Robert Pattinson is moving back to London
Robert Pattinson is reportedly moving back to London to be with FKA twigs. The 'Rover' actor - who previously admitted he considers Los Angeles his home - is planning to relocate to his native England soon, as he is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Emma Watson was 'very nervous' before her feminism speech
Emma Watson was ''very nervous'' before speaking at the United Nations (UN) headquarters. The 24-year-old actress, who gave a speech about gender inequality as she launched the HeForShe campaign in her role as UN Women...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Harry Styles is upset his vomit is being sold on ebay
Harry Styles thinks ''it's worrying'' his vomit is being sold on eBay. The 'Steal My Girl' hitmaker was surprised when fans erected a heartfelt shrine on the side of a busy Los Angeles freeway after he was recently...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ebola cases jumps to over 13,700: WHO
Geneva, Oct 30 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed Wednesday that 13,703 people have been infected with the Ebola virus since the epidemic began in March. Of that number, 13,676 of the cases were...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Obama praises health workers fighting Ebola as 'heroes'
Washington, Oct 30 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Wednesday paid honour to healthcare workers who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa, calling them "heroes" deserving to be applauded rather than discouraged...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Poland, Israel to step up efforts to further cooperation
Warsaw, Oct 30 (IANS) Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday that their countries have agreed to step up efforts to further cooperation in various fields. The two...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Cyprus, Greece, Egypt to forge tripartite cooperation
Nicosia, Oct 30 (IANS) Cyprus, Greece and Egypt Wednesday moved closer to forging a common strategy on energy, security and regional issues. Foreign ministers Ioannis Kasoulides from Cyprus, Evangelos Venizelos from...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
French soldier killed in clash in northern Mali
Paris, Oct 30 (IANS) A French soldier was killed Wednesday during a violent clash with a terrorist group in northern Mali, France's President's Office said. The sergeant in a commando parachutist unit was killed...
Read more on Politics Balla