The Royal Jewellers S01 ep1 :Mauboussin Jewellery [Paris]

Interview with Patrick Mauboussin

Patrick Mauboussin
Sensibility, that’s very important. You know your job, you know
where you are coming from and these are your expectations but I definitely
need to go somewhere else and just to smell the breeze, to feel, to understand
what happens in this world.

Patrick Mauboussin

KM - What is Mauboussin?

PM - It is a jeweller in Place Vendome, in Paris. And it was born in 1827 and
it’s still in the same family, and for the time being, I am very proud to represent
the 6th generation of jewellers.

PM - Mauboussin in the entomology seems to be "several" "nice"
"signatures" - "Mau" "bous" "sin", in old French .

Mauboussin Jewellery

PM - It starts naturally as an artisan, and after with a change of course of
great customers from the aristocracy and after the Royal family, we worked
with them. The real strategy started with Jean Mauboussin, and that was in the
early 20’s, and that was in the Art Deco period.

PM - Do you know you have some international exhibitions, just like The Art
Decorative Vision. A lot of foreigners came to Paris. Paris was a very nice
capital in terms of Art and we received first prize in this type of exhibition. So
his workmanship and creation were recognised and mainly, which is something
important, in the United States.

PM - Mauboussin was in terms of creation very different from Vever or
Lalique or even Fouquet and Mauboussin was recognised for their mixture and
use of colours and coloured stones. It was one of the first to use coloured
stones mixed with diamonds.

PM - The art nouveau period was the flower and the vegetable period [of
decoration and symbolism].

KM - Flower or vegetable period?

Mauboussin Jewellery

PM - Yeah, exactly. After the Art Nouveau period of course it was much more
structured, more I would say like architecture, with a mix of different materials,
important creators were using traditional diamonds, emeralds or certain type of
workmanship – Mauboussin wants to be different.

PM - Mauboussin was certainly one of the first, and I think before Cartier,
to use what they call "Tutti Frutti". That is to use the engraved stones that
came from India, and just to mix all together like more or less some rough stones just
to make a decorative floral piece.

PM - The most creative and strongest part of Mauboussin’s history was
during the Art Deco period. You were free just to use different materials, to use
different colours, to mix all together.

Mauboussin Jewellery

PM - One of the most important period, I would say was the Indian period
with the Maharaja of Indore. I remember when my father told me about that it
was more than only business I would say. The Maharaja loved to talk to my
father about spirituality, about religion out of this world. My father spent
sometimes about 3 months in Indore.

PM - I had a great meeting one day that 1986 with the Brunei family and the
Sultan of Brunei. I now know him very, very well. During the 15 years that I
spent with him, only in terms of creation, he gave me the extraordinary chance
to realise and to push me as he was a king to "surprise me", to do something
more. In terms of automatons – mixtures of technology and the art and I just
choose one territory which is the French "Art de Vive" also had the chance
during the last 5 years to realise his residence in the Place Vendome with just
one word, to say "OK Patrick this is the budget and delay" and in terms of
what he wants: "I’d like a little classical, Patrick" and that’s it.

KM - Oh, you mean to tell me, he actually charged you with the responsibility
of building his house here?

PM - Totally.

Mauboussin Jewellery

KM - Why are you doing this?

PM - I definitely didn’t want to join the company. I was more interested in
graphic arts and I love it, l really love and after I was selling to some
advertising companies at the times, doing graphic arts or little graphic jobs.

KM - Yes

PM - One time my father, when I was ending my studies, he was very sure
"O.K. you have finished your thing, you have a little job that is OK, and now
you get some holidays before joining it again. Why don’t you try a training
course in what you like in the workshop? First you would start with some
metals - not precious metals at all, and after if it is going well, you will use
silver and at last, last, last, it should be a drop of gold – nothing else". I said
yes because I thought it would be very interesting. After I start creating with
my hands, some rings or brooches or just to learn and I loved it.

PM - What I discovered was the third dimension, which was for me ,much
more important, because you know when you realise a jewel or a ring or
something, it is like sculpture – it has volume and space and how you build it. It
is between sculpture and architecture.

KM - Yes.

PM - It is a mixture of the two things and I discovered it. I discovered that
from nothing, from a piece of metal like that, with your hand and with a wish
that you have, you can hammer it perfectly or create something, and from
nothing, you create something which has a proper life.

PM - I was and am still curious of any metal used. Anything. Just to mix and
how to do something. I didn’t know it should be a jewel or something. Just the
wish to create or to do something different. But after when you have the
chance to work a little bit with different colours of gold and this is very, very
interesting because you feel in your hand with your tool how to use the
sculpture of the metal and the resistance of the metal. It is like some wood,
you feel the metal like the wood come to life.

KM - What does the word jewellery mean to you?

PM - First, pleasure. Something which is wearing a lot of emotion and, I
would say, the magic of the precious metals because it is rare. How to buy the
stone. Let us say the role of the jeweller is like an alchemist, which has the
power to know about the stones, what is the precious one what is not and what
is the power of each stone and how to use with metals to enhance them and to
give to the "Powerful" this rarity and this power.

PM - During Louis XIV and the Tavernier period, the jewellers or the
goldsmiths, because it was at that time more mixed, were the only professional
artisans just to have the authorization to wear this word on their lapel.

PM - You know I like to mix in terms of jewellery, tradition and the modernity.
And this modernity and especially for me and maybe a little different in my
family, is first to have no taboo.

KM - Sorry?

PM - No Taboo

KM - OK So anything goes?

PM - Anything goes – I am personally against the codification of that specific

PM - I would be more than proud if in a 100 years or 150 years, if
Mauboussin of course is still a great name, has kept its culture and some of
our jewellery, are considered in history as "a witness of their time".

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Mauboussin Jewellery