Louis Rousselet was born in 1892 in Paris and started his professional career at a very early age – at the age of 8 he started working as an apprentice enamel maker and then moved on to making glass beads.
In 1922, in the suburbs of Paris (Menilmontant), Louis organized his own production of glass beads, beads from galalite (an early plastic based on milk protein) and pearl-like beads. The production of glass beads followed the example of Venetian workshops – drops of glass mass were melted on an open fire and fixed on a copper wire. Acid baths were used to avoid bubble holes in the glass. All beads are polished by hand. And pearl-like beads were covered with a special composition “essence d’Orient”, which was based on fish scales.
By 1925, the factory “Louis Rousselet” employed 800 workers, and the products were sent to different countries around the world.
Louis worked as a designer, producing his own jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings.
Josephine Baker and other Parisian cabaret and theater stars were among his regular clients.
And also as a supplier of glass components for other well-known manufacturers: Chanel, Dior, Jeanne Lanvin, Jacques Fath, Maggy Rouf, Pierre Balmain, Elsa Schiaparelli, Balenciaga…
From 1943 to 1965 many of the brand’s collections were designed by Louis Rousselet’s daughter Denise. The production of pearl beads was stopped in 1965, and the production of glass beads in 1975, when the last highly skilled workers retired (initially, training in techniques lasted for several years). Louis Rousselet died in 1980.
Currently, jewelry of this brand is the pride of collectors and is constantly growing in price. Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to identify them. Most of the small decorations were accompanied only by a paper tag: “LR”, “Louis Rousselet”. Sometimes you can see “FRANCE” or “MADE IN FRANCE” on the clasps. It is very rare that you can still see the name on the clasps of the necklace. The situation is somewhat saved by the fact that branded fittings were used in the jewelry, which, like the chains, was also produced at the Louis Rousselet factories.