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American jeweler famous for his 1940’s angel and dancer brooches. Before he became its competitor, John Rubel worked for Van Cleef & Arpels. His company, John Rubel Co.was one of its Parisian manufacturing jewelers. In 1939, Rubel moved to New York to help produce jewelry for Van Cleef’s recently opened shop in the city. Both firms shared designer Maurice Duvalet, a Frenchman who reputedly “brought chic to everything he touched.”1 Duvalet designed ballerina and cupid-motif brooches for both firms. The designs were highly successful. In 1943, the collaboration with Van Cleef ended, and Rubel opened his own showroom at 777 Fifth Avenue. In the years that followed, Rubel created jewels depicting French cancan dancers, Spanish flamenco dancers, the Rockettes, Louis XVI style dancers, and dancing flowers inspired by the film, Fantasia. The firm also produced a series of popular flower-motif brooches featuring rubies, diamonds, and turquoise—a combination that was widely copied by other jewelers. It is, moreover, credited for popularizing domed cocktail rings with matching earrings.2 In 1947, the firm closed its doors.

Maker’s Marks and Timeline:



  • Began as a Parisian manufacturing firm, Rubel Freres, in association with Van Cleef & Arpels.


  • Discontinued their affiliation with Van Cleef & Arpels and opened under their own name.

Jewelry designs


  • Maurice Duvalet (shared with VCA.)


  • Closed.


  • Proddow, Penny & Debra Healy. American Jewelry: Glamour & Tradition. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.

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