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Boucher

Marcel Boucher was born in France in 1898 and emigrated to the United States in the 1920’s
Doing an apprenticeship at Cartier in France he continued training with them in the USA and later worked for Mazer Bros. in America

In 1937, together with Arthur Halberstadt he founded the company Boucher an Cie.
While Halberstadt took care of the trading part of the company Marcel Boucher was responsible for the design and the production.

During the years before the outbreak of war Boucher designed predominantly jewelry made of white metal and paste, a lot of these designs resembled the ‘real jewelry’.
Due to the rationing of white metal in favour of the arms industry after the outbreak of war Boucher made designs for silver jewelry. During this time he also moved to Mexico to benefit of the supply of Mexican silver and also produced his jewelry there.

After the war ended the business in Mexico was sold and Marcel Boucher moved back to New York continuing the production there. Apart from silver jewelry he started again to design jewelry made of other metals.

From 1945 onwards all pieces were marked with successive numbers which corresponded with the numbers in the company catalogue. Today this helps in specifying the year in which a piece was designed.

In 1949 Arthur Halberstadt left the company, the business was then continued by Boucher alone with the assistance of his wife.
In the same year Sandra Raymonde Semensohn was engaged as design assistant, she remained in the company with only one break from 1958 to 1961 and married Marcel Boucher in 1964. Boucher died the same year and Sandra Boucher continued to manage the company until it was sold to Davorn Industries in 1972.

Marcel Boucher can surely be regarded as one of the most talented designers in the costume jewelry industry. He, like hardly anybody else was able to transfer his ideas into the design of a piece of costume jewelry with such an airiness.
Especially the collections from 1940 and 1941 made of rhodium backed metal and enamel, at times with a mechanic to make them into movables, were outstanding: the jester with the little chain, the Mexicans in many variants and all the flower and vegetable pins are very much sought-after and hard to find.
Also the collections designed after the war, made of metal with a gold wash and rhinestones are very elegant and wearable.

Boucher and Cie in 1956 had about 70 employees which for American measures was a rather small company with a small production, that is the reason why costume jewelry by Boucher is hard to find.
The pieces were marked in the beginning with the phrygian cap, this signature was used till the end of 1949, after that the pieces are stamped BOUCHER and from 1955 onwards BOUCHER and the copyright symbol.



 

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