Magazine Humeur

A Walk Around Place Vendôme - Mellerio dits Meller

Publié le 05 septembre 2011 par Michelgutsatz

Me+frame Debra Healy poursuit sa promenade Place Vendôme et Rue de la Paix en nous proposant une analyse de Mellerio dits Meller. Cette marque familiale est aujourd'hui bien éloignée de ses origines et de son histoire - elle s'est banalisée.

Next door to Cartier at 9 Rue de la Paix behind a beautiful wooden facade is Mellerio dits Meller. The Mellerio family traces its origins to the Lombardy region of Italy in the 16th Century.
They were jewelers and goldsmiths. Some of the family moved to Paris in 1515. They prospered and became  royal jewelers  to the court of  Louis  XIII. In 1635 they were granted to use of of the name Meller. Hence Mellerio dits Meller. During the revolutions of 1789 and 1849 Mellerio relocated to Spain. In Madrid they were appointed as a supplier to the court of Queen Isabella II of Spain.
  Very fine Second Empire (c. 1860) parure Gold, emeralds, diamonds, pearls, and enamel.
Tiara, 1867 made for Queen Isabella II of Spain in the shape of a scallop shell set with diamonds, diamond briolettes, and pearls. The Mellerio family re-established in Paris. They participated in many of the international expositions. They exhibited in Paris in 1867, in Vienna in 1873, and again in Paris in 1878 and 1900. They also exhibited in The Exposition des Arts Decoratifs 1925.

Mellerio brooch 1942 During the Nazi occupation  gemstone supplies were limited. This bird's blue plumage is plique-a-jour enamel, which is backless and as transparent as a stained glass window. The French jewelry dynasty Mellerio dits Meller is still in business, and still in the original family: this distinguishes them as France‘s oldest luxury brand. Unique for this fact alone, but is that enough? They are a family enterprise that has survived centuries of business, the reign of terror, various wars, and the Nazi occupation of Paris. They have catered to noble families and the wealthy elite with jewels in keeping with prevailing fashion in every stylistic epoch. Styles such as 16th, 17th, 18th century, Empire, Second Empire, romatic revivals, Renaissance revival,   archeological revival, Art Nouveau, Louis XVI revival, Art Deco, and the retro style of the late 1930’s-1950's.

Mannequin wearing jewels by Mellerio 1950's The most interesting thing about Mellerio today is their history. Unfortunately this history in not at all reflected by the products displayed in their windows.

This ring looks like one of thousands available in the jewelers district of 47th street in New York City for the past 20 years. I am an American therefore I am not over-awed by the royal patronage associated with this jewelry house. What I want to see is a unique differentiated style, Iconic products, and good design.

These jewels look like products sold in America, on TV shopping channels like QVC, and Home Shopping Network. The only difference is that these are 18 k gold rather than 14 k gold. The jewelry displayed in Mellerio's windows appears to be a random selection. The jewels are ultra-conservative and rather bland. I do not see a coherent vision, with unique differentiated style, iconic products, or particularly good design.This is a shame given their long illustrious history.

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