Georges Lenfant

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

The Georges Lenfant house mark is so synonymous with fine workmanship that few of the great jewellery houses can claim not to have sold Lenfant jewellery. Although he kept his father’s trademark, it is his son Jacques Lenfant that was the man behind the exceptionally creative jewels and virtuoso chain-work that we associate with the name today. Jacques began helping in his father’s workshop aged just eleven in 1915 whilst still completing his education, which included 4 years at L’Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs. He then undertook various drawing and designing apprenticeships in France, Germany, England and Vienna, thus adding theoretical and conceptual arrows to his already impressive bow of practical knowledge and experience. It is perhaps this profound knowledge of both the practical and theoretical aspects of jewellery that meant Jacques Lenfant’s jewels were so well-rounded. As the workshop mainly supplied the retail jewellery market, albeit often with its own designs, and its only mark was the discreet lozenge-shaped stamp, the name Georges Lenfant is maybe not as universally known as it should be. Jacques Lenfant and his workshop were however highly respected within the Art world as he executed jewels for artists such as Fernand Léger, iconic designs such as the Hermes ‘Chaine d’ancre’, as well as jewels for Cartier, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and René Boivin. Jacques Lenfant was also president of the ‘Groupe des Bijoutiers', president of the Jewellery trade association, officer of the Legion d’honneur, and awarded the Grand Prize of the President of the Republic for works of art in 1980. His interest in the history, and desire to preserve the art, lead him to agree to publish two books, both invaluable texts on jewellery history and the art of Goldsmith chain-work.