Louis Gérard, formerly of Van Cleef & Arpels, established his own firm M. Gérard in 1968, setting up his premises at 8 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. His discerning eye for gemstones and superior sense for quality quickly won over the hearts of Parisian and international jewellery enthusiasts. He soon became renowned for jewels set with very high quality diamonds, mostly exceptional stones (for example lots 243 and 259). However, he also insisted on a very high standard also for the small stones, the mêlée and for his extraordinary and fine workmanship. Many a suite in the sale bears witness to this.
His success resulted in further openings of outlets in Monaco in the same year of the firm's foundation, Lausanne (in 1972), Gstaad (in 1974), London (in 1976), and in Geneva and Cannes (in 1978). Already by 1975, Gérard was known to be the largest exporter of fine jewels from France - an astonishing achievement when one bears in mind the reputation and quality of his long-established competitors from across the Place Vendôme and the Champs-Elysées.
In 1985, the firm was bought by a group of American investors, but upon Louis Gérard's retirement the firm closed. Encouraged by friends and clients alike, Louis Gérard, one of the most successful jewelers of the second half of the 20th century, reopened under his own name two years later at 16 Avenue Montaigne and in Cannes. Coinciding with his reopening, he also launched a less exclusive line of more wearable jewellery suitable for a contemporary life style, which complemented his traditional production of haute joaillerie. The flexibility and suppleness of Gérard jewels make wearing them so pleasurable.
Never compromising on quality, the jewellery by Gérard is characterized by distinctive, sometimes daring, often witty and always luxurious designs.
Lot 291 combines his excellent workmanship with a truly exceptional gem: the third largest button-shaped pearl known to this day - a spectacular sight.