1886 Jacques Adler founded the maison in Istanbul, Turkey. He had previously completed an aprenticeship in Vienna where he had developed a passion for precious stones. In Istanbul, at the centre of various cultures, Adler's jewellery took on a very distinctive style drawing influence from European and Asian sources. His work is also well-known for its use of colour combinations. In 1972 the maison moved to Geneva. This cosmopolitan city seemed like the ideal location for Adler, situated at the centre of many different cultures. The third generation of the Adler family, Leyla, Franklin and Carlo continue to run the family firm. Their current boutiques can be found in London, Hong Kong and Gstaad. The Adler family oversee every stage of their jewellery production, from the selection of the stones and the design work, to the finished piece.
Gilbert Albert was born on 20th September 1930
1945 – Studies Jewellery and Design at ‘L’Ecole des Arts Industriels’, Geneva
1955 - After studying in Geneva, Gilbert Albert went on to be the designer and head of Patek Philippe's workshop for seven years.
From 1958 to 1988 his fantastical and original pieces gained him the prestigious 'Oscar' award at the Diamonds International Awards no less than ten times: three for Patek Philippe, two for Omega and five times under his own workshop.
In 1962 Gilbert Albert founded his own workshop.
1991 - Over the years, Albert's work has been exhibited around the world from London to Tokyo, Johannesburg to New York.
He was the first living artist since 1917 to be invited to show his creations in the Moscow Kremlin, and again in 2003.
The Aletto Brothers’ story begins at the turn of the 19th century in Naples, Italy, when Alfredo Aletto’s great grandfather was commissioned to create a special piece of jewelry for the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower at Paris’s Universal Exposition. Alfredo Aletto has devoted his life to the elusive art of crafting fine jewelry, immersing himself in all aspects of the process, including design, lapidary work and stone setting. 1964 – The family moved to New York and established a store on 47th Street 1985 - This is where the story continues; in addition to crafting timeless, world-famous jewels, Alfredo Aletto remains deeply committed to his heritage by taking on three apprentices—his sons, Alberto, Luigi and Mario. Alberto, the eldest, was eager to follow in his father’s footsteps and has worked in the family business for 11 years, now serving as a mentor to his younger brothers. After all, they are also his fellow artists and business partners. Together, Alfredo and his three sons work to balance the increasing demands of business and daily life, while offering each other inspiration and support . Five generations later, from Naples to Caracas to New York, Boca Raton, Florida is now home to Aletto Brothers. Their small shop is the birthplace of some of the world’s finest gold and gemstone treasures, which include modern interpretations of classic design. Aletto Brothers are famous for their use of the invisible setting and they still produce many beautiful pieces using this early twentieth-century innovation. As masters of the invisible setting, the Aletto family takes pride in passing down this skilled technique from father to sons for five generations.
William Asprey 1759-1827 Charles Asprey I 1786-1854 Charles Asprey II Junior 1813-1892 Charles Asprey III 1845-1916 1781 Founded William Asprey in Mitcham, Surrey. Initially Aspreys was a silk-printing business which William’s son Charles expanded into metallic arts. 1841 Aspreys went into partnership with a London stationer called Kennedy’s. 1847 The relationship broke down and Aspreys, headed by Charles Asprey I, subsequently moved to 167, New Bond Street, where the firm still operates from today. 1859 Aspreys brought Edwards, a maker of dressing cases and a holder of a Royal Warrant. Their early speciality became dressing cases. Aspreys purchased the Alfred Club of 22, Albermarle Street, the haunt of Lord Byron, so they could expand their premises and have entrances on two of London’s most fashionable streets. 1862 Aspreys won a medal at the International Exhibition for their dressing cases. The company was granted a warrant from Queen Victoria and began building up their Royal and international clientele. 1920’s Aspreys received numerous commissions from American Millionaires such as J.Pierpoint Morgan and Indian Maharajas, including the Maharajahs of Patiala and Cooch Behar, and the Sultan of Lahore. Ernest Betjeman was hired as a designer, he was regarded as one the best of his time. He was great friends with Philip Asprey, introducing him to shooting. 1927 Saks of 5th Avenue in New York became Asprey’s American agent. 1929 Asprey suffered in the Great Depression, being hit by the decrease in demand for luxury goods. 1930 During the Round Table Conference in India which was held in London, the Maharajahs of Patiala commissioned Aspreys to make enormous Teak trunks, one for each of his five wives. Each trunk ended up being fitted with solid silver toilette utensils, including tiger-spouted bottles. 1953 Elizabeth II’s coronation inspired the design of the ‘Coronation Year Gold Collection’. It went on display in New Bond Street and went on to tour to the United States. It took a year to complete and was compared to Paul de Lamerie’s great masterpieces. 1973 Eric A. Rolls Asprey becomes the Asprey Chairman for the following six years. 1975 Eric Asprey receives the Queen’s Award for Industry. In the following years, Asprey’s would acquire furniture restorers and book binders Sangorski and Sutcliffe. 1979 John Rolls Asprey, Eric’s son, became chairman. 1995 The Prince Jeffrey Bolkiah of Brunei purchased the firm. 1998 Aspreys merged with Garrard, The Crown Jewellers, to become Aspreys and Garrads 2000 Asprey & Garrard was purchased by a private partnership. 2002 The companies separated. 2009 Aspreys still occupies the same location on the corner of Bond and Albemarle Street and continues to produce jewellery, silverware and other luxury goods.
Louis Aucoc 1850-1932 1821 Louis Aucoc founded a silversmithing business at 154, Rue St. Honoré, Paris. 1835 The business moved to 6, Rue de la Paix, which was to become the most fashionable road in Paris and eventually was home to all the great jewellery houses. In 1854 Louis retired and his son, also named Louis, took over the business. He added jewellery manufacturing to their lines of silverware. 1870s Louis Aucoc junior assumed the leadership of the business. 1876 René Lalique was apprenticed. In 1877, Aucoc purchased the Maison Lobjois, consolidating the business under the name La Maison Aucoc. They participated in the major international expositions, contributing jewellery in chased gold 'Art Nouveau' styles. 1895-1908 Louis Aucoc stod as President of the Chambre syndicale de la Bijouterie-Joalerie-Orfevrerie 1899-1900 - Aucoc produces jewellery in the 'genre Lalique', collaborating with the designer G Landois. In 1900 Louis' younger brother André assumed control of the business. The emphasis of the company reverted back to silverware. In 1906, Aucoc participated, but did not compete, at the International Exhibition in Milan. 1932 Louis Aucoc died in Paris
Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 by Jules Audemars and Paul-Edward Piguet in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Their first achievement was the creation of the 'Grande Complication'. This was a pocket watch comprising three complicated mechanisms. They went on to develop the thinnest manual winding and repeating watches ever made, the first skeleton watch and the ultra-thin automatic perpetual calendar watch.
Alphonse & Georges Auger
Maison Auger was founded in 1862 by Alphonse Auger (1837-1904) who began his career as a stone setter.
1864-1870 He worked for major retailers in partnership with Gabriel Falguieres
1870-1878 Auger worked by himself
1878-1889 He went into partnership with Gueret
Alphonse’s eldest son Georges joined the firm in 1895 and took over the business in 1900 and then entered a new mark for the firm under his name on 29th May 1900.
1832 - Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and his original partner, Andrew Kitchen, open their first Store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
1904 - The Philadelphia Press newspaper referred to Bailey Banks & Biddle as “the oldest business of its line in the United States”.
From the start, Mr. Bailey was committed to finest quality merchandise of the most exquisite design. For example, we were the first jeweler to introduce the British Sterling Silver standard in America. American silversmiths worked in what is called Coin Silver, of 90% purity. Mr. Bailey raised his standard to 92.5% so that his silver would compete with the finest imports from around the world.
1846 - Joseph Bailey’s original partner, Andrew Kitchen retired. Mr. Kitchen was in failing health and passed away, four years later, in 1850.
1851 - Mr. Bailey was committed to finest quality merchandise of the most exquisite design. Joseph T. Bailey II, the son of the founder, enters the business.
1854 - The founder, Joseph T. Bailey, dies in Cuba. He had travelled there, for the mild climate, because of his own failing health.
1860 - The Confederate States of America contracted Bailey & Co. to produce one-cent pieces for the South. The designer and engraver, Robert Lovett, designed a coin which showed a woman’s head in profile on the obverse, and the principle products of the South on the reverse side… cotton, tobacco, corn and rice. Mr. Lovett struck 12 specimens as samples but, by then, the Civil War had escalated. He feared the consequences of the discovery of his work by the Union authorities. Instead of delivering them, he hid the 12 samples in his cellar. Many years later, one of the pennies showed up in a coin show. It turned out that Mr. Lovett had carried it as a lucky charm. Nine of the coins survived and one was auctioned in 1984 for $11,500.
Bailey & Co. were commissioned to produce important presentation swords for Union Civil War notables, including General Meade and General Ulysses S. Grant. Some of these swords are in the Smithsonian, including one presented to General George McClellan by the City of Philadelphia.
1865 - Bailey & Co. created the mortuary medal for the funeral of Abraham Lincoln. The obverse shows a profile of Lincoln with his name and the year. On the reverse is a broken column with a shield and tablet inscribed A.L. Two flags are draped on either side of the column, and the inscription reads, “He is in Glory and the Nation is in tears”
After the Civil War, Joseph T. Bailey II began to travel abroad in search of rare items for the store. These included magnificent oil paintings and Viennese skate bags, snuff boxes and many other fascinating artefacts.
1878 - The final name change occurred. On March 1st of that year, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported that our new management team would consist of general partners Joseph T. Bailey II, George W. Banks of J.E. Caldwell & Co, and Samuel Biddle of Robbins, Biddle & Co. The new name would be Bailey Banks & Biddle.
1893 - Mr. Biddle retired.
1894 - Mr. Banks retired
Joseph T. Bailey served as President and his son Charles Weaver Bailey served as Vice President and Treasurer.
Bailey Banks & Biddle went public on March 2, 1894. The name remained the same, but Co. was added.
By the late 19th century, Bailey Banks & Biddle was firmly established as the pre-eminent American jeweler. The Pennsylvania Historical Review of 1886 describes our company as “one of two leading establishments of the kind in the United States. As manufacturing jewellers and diamond mounters, no house in the United States has achieved a higher reputation. Bailey Banks & Biddle’s inventory includes the rarest and choicest gems, watches, jewellery, the rarest first water brilliants, matched stones and diamonds from ½ to 20 carats. They also manufacture silverware and sell imported bronzes, the choicest Sevres, marble statuary, original and reproductions of famous masterpieces, paintings and curios. Finally, they also produce stationary, wedding invitations, ball programs, dinner menus, visiting cards, initials, crests and monograms.”
As the 20th century dawned, Bailey Banks & Biddle remained the jeweler to America’s great families. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson became a Bailey Banks & Biddle Customer. She purchased a brooch on April 30, 1902, that she wore as First Lady in 1913.
1904 - Bailey Banks & Biddle moved to a modern new building further north on Chestnut Street. The tradition of a shopping experience equal, in quality to our merchandise, is an old and important piece of our heritage.
1904 - Bailey Banks & Biddle created the updated and final version of the Great Seal of the United States. The Great Seal of the United States is used to officially seal over 2,000 documents a year. From treaties and ceremonial foreign communications, to the appointment of Ambassadors and Cabinet Members the Seal is a fundamental part of America’s visual identity.
1905 - Bailey Banks & Biddle produced the modern day Medal of Honour, America’s highest military award. It is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force."
1905 – Bailey Banks and Biddle created 3,000 Medals of Honour. This Medal of Honour replaced all previous design medals worn by veterans of the Indian and Civil Wars if requested by the soldier.
1917 - America’s need for new military insignia and medals continues. It is this year that Bailey Banks & Biddle is contracted to produce the first Pilot Wings. These Wings are for Naval Aviators, America’s first military pilots.
1918 - Charles Weaver Bailey, the son of Joseph T. Bailey II, was the last Bailey to head our firm. He became President after his father’s death in 1918. Charles Bailey died in 1922.
1926 - Bailey Banks & Biddle produce the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Distinguished Flying Cross “is awarded to any Officer or Enlisted Man of any branch of the Armed Forces that distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918.” The first DFC, produced by Bailey Banks & Biddle, was awarded to Captain Charles Lindbergh, of the US Army Corps Reserve, for his solo flight across the Atlantic. 1932 - Bailey Banks & Biddle designed and made two more of our highest military awards for bravery and merit, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. The first Silver Star made was awarded to General Douglas MacArthur.
1932 - To honour Washington’s 200th birthday, General Douglas MacArthur, then serving as Army Chief, and President Herbert Hoover authorize the creation of the modern day Purple Heart. Bailey Banks & Biddle was contracted to produce the first 40,000 medals.
1961 - Bailey Banks & Biddle became part of Zale Corporation.
1960’s – Designer, George Meell, who designed the Silver and Bronze Stars, prepared solid gold calling cards for the seven Mercury Astronauts. Bailey Banks & Biddle sold the Astronauts the original Omega Speedmaster, which was selected as the official timepiece for every subsequent NASA mission.
1969 - Bailey Banks & Biddle’s Joan Ralston worked with Wedgewood to create the Philadelphia Bowl. The bowl depicts scenes from the City of Philadelphia’s history. Bowls are often presented to visiting dignitaries and guests of the City.
1981 - During his first term in office, President Ronald Reagan hosted the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. At this gathering of World Leaders, Mayor Greene of Philadelphia presented President Reagan with an inkwell set created by Bailey Banks & Biddle. The pewter inkwell was a reproduction of the one used by the Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. The inkwell became of a favourite of President Reagan. He kept it on his desk in the Oval Office.
1984 - Bailey Banks & Biddle created the Order of James Smithson for the Smithsonian Institute. The Order is the Smithsonian’s most prestigious award. It has been awarded by the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents only six times in its first twenty years.
1988 - Bailey Banks & Biddle designed, struck and donated the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the civic group, the Philadelphia Foundation. The Philadelphia Liberty Medal honours an individual, or an organization from anywhere in the world who has "demonstrated leadership and vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance, or deprivation." Recipients have included President Jimmy Carter, President Nelson Mandela, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
1990 – 2008 - Bailey Banks & Biddle continues with quality, style and unparalleled service. Bailey Banks & Biddle can lay claim to being not only America’s oldest jeweler, but also America’s leading luxury jeweler, with more branches from coast to coast than any other.
Both houses Bapst and Falize were renowned in their own right but unified for a short period between 1880 and 1892. There collaborative work can be identified by a distinct monogram featuring a diamond ring and a pearl drop with the letters B & F. This monogram was sometimes used a decorative device. In 1876 Lucien Falize (1839-97) assumed control of the Falize workshops. Having trained with his father for the previous two decades, Lucien was a competent successor—a highly skilled enamellist, goldsmith, and designer. Lucien’s obsession with eras past (especially the Renaissance) and Japanese art matched, if not surpassed, that of his father. In 1878, Falize won a grand prize for his jewellery as well as a coveted Legion of Honor Cross at Paris’s International Exposition. Germain Bapst was descended from French royal jewellers, Evrard and Frederic Bapst, who made several magnificent pieces for the Royal family including an emerald tiara for Marie-Therese, the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Bapst suggested joining their firms together. On 16 June 1880, the partnership between Lucien Falize and Germain Bapst was formalized. Bapst (1853-1921), the son of a jeweller Alfred Bapst and descendant of the famous crown jewellers could expect loyal customers and friends to follow him in this new venture. Lucien, after his recent success at the Exposition, could certainly hope to gain from the long- standing reputation of the Bapst name. Both of the new partners were widely respected for their learning and their professional skills and enjoyed great success. Until 1892, Bapst & Falize enjoyed great prosperity. On 31 March 1892, the partnership between Bapst and Falize was dissolved.
1830 The descendants of Louis-Joseph Baume established their own factory. Brothers Louis Victor and Pierre-Joseph-Célestin Baume who founded the house and registered it in Les Bois village, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. 1840 Baume & Mercier manufactured watches with escapement wheels and some of the earlier chronographs. 1851 A subsidiary of the company was opened in London, 'Baume Bros.' 1918 William Baume and Paul Mercier began a long and successful collaboration in Geneva. 1988 Luxco, a luxury investment group, and Cartier acquired Baume & Mercier. 1993 During a consolidation of groups, they became a member of the luxury group, Vendome. Baume & Mercier is currently owned and run by the Richemont group who own several other watch brands including IWC, Vacheron Constantin and Panerai.