(1877 – 1932)
Renowned nineteenth-century French jeweller and goldsmith, Louis Aucoc (1850-1932) was a member of a family of already well-reknown goldsmiths. 1 In 1877, he bought the well-known Parisian firm, Lobjois, and changed its name to La Maison Aucoc. According to jewellery historian Henri Vever, Aucoc “quickly acquired one of the most prominent positions in the trade through his admirable personal qualities.”2Aucoc’s great skill as a goldsmith and refined aesthetic sensibility undoubtedly contributed to his success as well. Though not particularly innovative, his jewellery—carefully made with the finest of materials— kept directly in step with French fashion. The firm’s Art Nouveau pieces were particularly well regarded; they often feature exquisitely chased gold combined with enameling and finely set diamonds.3 Aucoc is also remembered for his leadership within the jewellery industry. According to Vever, he consistently served on the prize-giving and admissions panels at Paris’s International Exhibitions.4 Another one of Aucoc’s claims to fame is that he taught Art Nouveau revolutionary René Lalique how to work with gold. From 1876-78, Lalique served as an apprentice at La Maison Aucoc.
- Becker, Vivenne, Art Nouveau Jewellery. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1985. ISBN 0500280789
- Bayer, Patricia & Mark Waller. The Art of Rene Lalique. Secaucas: The Wellfleet Press, 1988.
- Vever, Henri. French Jewelry of the Nineteenth Century. Translated by Katherine Purcell. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001 [1906-8], 1091. ISBN 0500237840
- Vever, 432. Vever mentions the Aucoc family throughout his book. Of particular interest, perhaps, is the fact that the Aucocs were “appointed to the king”, in particular, King Louis Phillipe, and were frequently patronized by other royalty. Here are other details from Vever: “J.-B. Casimir Aucoc aîné specialized in nécessaires and had succeeded Marie in 1821. In 1835, he established himself in the Rue de la Paix and added goldsmith’s work to his repertoire. He was succeeded by Louis Aucoc aîné [the father of young Louis] in 1854, who soon expanded into artistic and gemstone jewelry”
- Vever, 1096
- Becker, 90-91
- Vever, 1098