The Amazing Jean Schlumberger

Who Was Jean Schlumberger

From his birth in 1907, in Alcase, France, Jean Schlumberger was born into craft. His family owned and operated a textile manufacturing business in France.  Jean was an artistic child, who loved nature and loved to draw, and he also had a lively imagination. Having no particular education in jewelry, Jean created his first brooches out of porcelain. He knew he had a calling, and at only about 20 years of age Jean made a bold decision to move to Paris. His parents were not too fond of the fact, the manufacturing business was doing well and they wished for Jean to become a banker. Jean, however, had a heart and a soul of a true artist and Paris in 1930's was a perfect fit. He soon developed a circle of elite and fashionable friends. He was drawn to jewelry design, but had little money to spend on materials. He would frequent the Flea Market, where he hunted for interesting but inexpensive bits of Victoriana, such as serpents, cherubs, and old glass beads. After switching a few jobs in Paris Jean was noticed by a fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. He began to design fanciful buttons for Schiaparelli, then later, costume jewelry.

Shortly after surviving World War II Jean Schlumberger moved to New York and worked in fashion industry designing clothes. It was not long before he opened a jewelry salon, in 1946. 

Works Of Jean Schlumberger

In 1956 he was hired by Tiffany & Co. Chairman Walter Hoving as a Vice President of the company. A special design studio and salon were decorated to the designer’s specifications, and with an unlimited supply of the finest colored stones now at his fingertips, Schlumberger created some of the most incredible jewelry designs of his career.

Schlumberger's most famous designs celebrate nature. ‘It’s very complicated,’ the jewelry designer once said to a reporter. ‘I make jewels, but I hate modern jewelry — and I can’t tell people I make antique jewels!’ Schlumberger’s classic designs have stood the test of time and remain hugely popular among connoisseurs and collectors.

Exceptional Creations

Koi Fish brooch by Jean Schlumberger 

Tapestry Ring, mounted with a 10-carat mandarin garnet, comes dressed in round brilliant diamonds and miniature tassels that are also movable, Jean Schlumberger. 

Stitches Bracelet. This newly-materialised Schlumberger bracelet sports platinum flowers decked in over 40 carats of diamond pave and a 3-carat diamond, Jean Schlumberger. 

Enamel and multi-gem parrot brooch, by Jean Schlumberger. 

Clients Of Jean Schlumberger

Schlumberger gained international fame during his long association with Tiffany & Co. in New York, where he held the position of vice president and had his own salon. It was reached by a private elevator and on it could be seen such prominent women as the Duchess of Windsor, Gloria Swanson, Babe Paley and Francoise de la Renta.

His clients were drawn by his opulent, often fanciful jewelry. “I try to make everything look as if it were growing, uneven, at random, organic, in motion,” Schlumberger once said.

Jean is responsible for some of the most incredible designs ever manufactured by Tiffany& Co. His designs were worn by some of the most famous and fashionable ladies of that time. In fact, Jacqueline Kennedy was such a fan of his enamel bracelets that the press began to call them “Jackie Bracelets”. Elizabeth Taylor was also a well known fan of, Jean’s, owning several impressive pieces gifted to her from Richard Burton.

Jackie Kennedy, wearing Jean Schlumberger

Elizabeth Taylor wearing Carousel Brooch, Jean Schlumberger.


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