This 1920s French Art Deco necklace is formed with lapis glass beads, Galalith beige beads and spacers of blue and purple cylindrical glass beads. The necklace is strung on chain giving it strength to last over time. Though unsigned, the beads and necklace design are unmistakably by Louis Rousselet and the barrel clasp is marked "Made in France". Purchased in England. More examples can be seen in Ginger Moro's book, European Designer Jewelry, page 64.
Size: 25 inches long, 94 grams
Louis Rousselet (1892-1980) was born in Paris and apprenticed at a very young age to learn to manufacture lamp-work beads. In 1922 in Menilmontant, a Paris suburb, he began manufacturing glass and Galalith beads as well as faux pearls. The pearls were created from glass beads coated with essence d’Orient, a fish-scale compound. All of his beads were hand-wound and polished. Workers had to train for six or seven years to learn his techniques. By 1925, Rousselet employed 800 workers and shipped his beads all over the world. Production of pearls ceased in the late 1960s. Glass beads were manufactured until 1975, when the last trained worker retired.Rousselet also designed sautoirs, necklaces, pendants and other jewelry, using glass beads in a wide range of colors and styles. His pieces were worn by Josephine Baker and other stars of the Folies Bergères, Casino de Paris and Moulin Rouge, as well as clients of couturiers such as Chanel, Jacques Fath, Pierre Balmain and Robert Piquet. Rousselet’s daughter Denise designed many of the firm’s collections from 1943 until 1965. Most pieces came with a paper tag, so few are signed.
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