The year of creation of the Lacloche Frères company is considered to be 1892. Brothers Jacques and Fernand spent some time in America, and upon returning home they opened their own company selling jewelry, Lacloche et Cie, in Madrid.
The ability to make useful connections and attract eminent clientele helped the Lakloche brothers run their business successfully.
Business boomed, with Lacloche et Cie stores opening in the fashionable resorts of Biarritz and San Sebastian. Success also accompanied the Parisian company Lacloche Frères, which opened a store on the prestigious Place Vendôme, in the resort town of Aix-les-Bains in the Principality of Monaco, in Nice and the seaside cities of Trouville and Ostend (Belgium).
It must be said that there are two models for running a jewelry business: some companies have their own production, and some sell products from jewelry workshops that do not have their own company stores. The Lacloche brothers’ brand relied specifically on the second option. The company’s success lay largely in collaboration with skilled craftsmen such as Paul Frey, whose skill was recognized with a silver medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle and a gold medal at the Milan Exposition six years later. Paul Frey was a respected jeweler who created designs and jewelery for some of the most renowned Parisian jewelery houses. Lacloche Frères’ arsenal included bold and completely original pieces, such as a collection of animal-themed accessories created in collaboration with masters Julien Duval and Paul Frey. These included bags shaped like spiders, owls, pigs and bats.
Early 20th-century jewelry became lighter and more refined through the use of platinum, allowing jewelers to create thin, almost invisible settings for precious stones. Featuring tapestry Petit Point embroidery, this bracelet bears a striking resemblance to Alma Piel’s Fabergé jewelry, which used platinum latticework to set the stones, the same technique used to create the Imperial “Mosaic” Easter egg of 1914. It was the Lacloche company that bought the equipment of the London branch of the Faberge company and opened its own store in London in 1919. A few years later, Fernand’s sons, Henri and Jacques, opened an office on Fifth Avenue in New York. Thus began the most successful period in the history of the Lacloche brand, which made it famous for its jewelry masterpieces in the Art Deco style.
Towards the end of the 1920s, Lacloche fell on hard times. Of all four brothers, only Fernand remained alive. The global economic crisis led to the collapse of Lacloche et Cie in 1930. Fernand died two years later, and Lacloche Frères went bankrupt that same year. But the company’s story did not end there. It must be said that Jacques Lacloche, one of the four brothers who stood at the origins of the business, passed away very early.
He was 35 years old when he died in a train accident in 1900, leaving behind a wife and an infant son, also named Jacques. Jacques Jr. had been involved in the family business since 1919 and ran the company’s London branch. In 1933, just a year after bankruptcy, he opened a new company with the same name, Lacloche. He managed to restore the company’s reputation, winning awards at international exhibitions and carrying out important orders for celebrities.