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Robert and John Rubel jewellery

Robert and John Rubel jewellery

Retro 1940s poster. Robert and John Rubel jewellery

Robert and John Rubel jewellery
Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1800s, brothers Robert and Jean Rubel created high jewelry pieces in their workshop in Hungary. In 1915, they moved to the fashion capital – Paris and began creating decorations under the name Rubel Freres. The Rubel brothers set up a jewelry workshop near one of the five “royal squares” of Paris, the famous Place Vendome. The place was famous for its jewelry boutiques located in Place Vendome, including Chanel headquarters, Cartier and Chaumet. Also, since 1934, the house number 21 belongs to the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli.
Van Cliff & Arpels quickly became their customer and part of their production. Thanks to the extraordinary skills and craftsmanship, the company enjoyed success, having opened branches in Paris and London. When Van Cleef & Arpels opened its first workshop and store in New York City in 1939, the Rubel brothers moved there too. However, in 1943 they stopped their collaboration with Van Cleef, and opened their own business at 777 on Fifth Avenue. They began selling their own designs as John Rubel & Co. The firm became nationally famous after developing a ballerina-shaped brooch. Within 3 years they had become as iconic and fashionable as some other jewelry brands like Cartier and Boucheron.

Ballerina brooch of gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. 1945

Ballerina brooch of gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. 1945

One day, John (Jean) Rubel spent time in a Latin American bar on the east side of Manhattan. He sketched the female silhouette of a flamenco dancer on the corner paper tablecloth of his desk. The next day, he showed the drawing to VC & A’s chief designer Maurice Duvalier, who immediately accepted the design. It was in 1940. However, Van Cliff & Arpels produced the first ballerina brooch only in 1945.

Robert and John Rubel jewellery

Dancing flower 1943 poster

Dancing flower 1943 poster

Unfortunately, the WWII had undermined the jewelry business and the diamond trade of Rubel brothers. The company ceased to exist late in 1940s. Today, prices on vintage jewels found on the second market at auctions rise very high.

Brooch-dancer of gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. 1945

Brooch-dancer of gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. 1945

Noteworthy, the company was reborn 100 years after its founding and 75 years of its closure, thanks to Sophie Mizrahi-Rubel, heiress of the Rubel family. The talented jeweler, she gained experience having worked for such prestigious brands as Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cliff & Arpels. She decided to reboot the iconic brand in 2015. According to her, she did so with an audacious and avant-garde spirit, while always keeping in mind the heritage of the century-old name.

Robert and John Rubel jewellery

14 K Gold compact, gold cigarette case, silver compact with gold and ruby ornament, gold cigarette case with sapphires. $20 000

14 K Gold compact, gold cigarette case, silver compact with gold and ruby ornament, gold cigarette case with sapphires. $20 000

18 karat gold and diamond bracelet-watch, circa 1940

18 karat gold and diamond bracelet-watch, circa 1940

Brooch. Flowering branch set with coral and turquoise cabochons, accented with 25 diamonds, mounted in 14 karat gold, 1945

Brooch. Flowering branch set with coral and turquoise cabochons, accented with 25 diamonds, mounted in 14 karat gold, 1945

Composed of stylized bow-shaped links of openwork form resembling lace, set with diamonds, accented by round rubies, circa 1945

Composed of stylized bow-shaped links of openwork form resembling lace, set with diamonds, accented by round rubies, circa 1945

Coral and Turquoise 18 K gold stick pin

Coral and Turquoise 18 K gold stick pin

Set with rubies and diamonds pair of brooch and pendant

Set with rubies and diamonds pair of brooch and pendant

Stylised flower brooch. Turquoise cabochons, rubies, brilliant-cut diamonds. 1940s

Stylised flower brooch. Turquoise cabochons, rubies, brilliant-cut diamonds. 1940s

The openwork circular motif of floral and foliate design, set with 193 round diamonds, signed John Rubel Co

The openwork circular motif of floral and foliate design, set with 193 round diamonds, signed John Rubel Co

14 K Gold compact, gold cigarette case, silver compact with gold and ruby ornament, gold cigarette case with sapphires

14 K Gold compact, gold cigarette case, silver compact with gold and ruby ornament, gold cigarette case with sapphires

Diamond necklace - Baguette, round and marquise diamonds. Flexible platinum mounting with alternate links studded with diamonds. $22.500

Diamond necklace – Baguette, round and marquise diamonds. Flexible platinum mounting with alternate links studded with diamonds. $22.500

Diamond, diamond and sapphire, sapphire bracelets

Diamond, diamond and sapphire, sapphire bracelets

Five rose leaves of diamond with two round and three pear shaped diamonds. Sapphire platinum diamond ring 16.72 carats. Diamond wheat clip

Five rose leaves of diamond with two round and three pear shaped diamonds. Sapphire platinum diamond ring 16.72 carats. Diamond wheat clip

Jewelry items published in 1940s brochure

Jewelry items published in 1940s brochure

La Fourragere - A creation of John Rubel. Two clips of diamonds, rubies, sapphires mounted in gold with snake-chain studded with flowers of rubies and sapphires. $2275

La Fourragere – A creation of John Rubel. Two clips of diamonds, rubies, sapphires mounted in gold with snake-chain studded with flowers of rubies and sapphires. $2275

Page from brochure about John Rubel diamond collection

Page from brochure about John Rubel diamond collection

Round, square, pear-shaped diamond rings

Round, square, pear-shaped diamond rings

Ruby necklace - Gold chain studded with diamonds, with pendants of baguette and round stones, ending in twenty-one rubies, beautifully matched in color and graduated in size

Ruby necklace – Gold chain studded with diamonds, with pendants of baguette and round stones, ending in twenty-one rubies, beautifully matched in color and graduated in size

Sapphire and diamond clips, diamond clip, diamond and sapphire bracelet

Sapphire and diamond clips, diamond clip, diamond and sapphire bracelet

Snowflake diamond earclips, ruby and diamond clip, ruby spray with diamonds, dahlia diamond clips

Snowflake diamond earclips, ruby and diamond clip, ruby spray with diamonds, dahlia diamond clips

Vintage brochure

Vintage brochure