One of the richest, if not the richest period in jewellery and watch design is that of the Art Deco. The French led the rest of the world in this style and Paris was at its center. Among many great jewellery houses, Verger Frères made magnificent objets d’art and jewels.
The founder of this great firm was Ferdinand Verger (1851-1928), both a jeweller and a watchmaker. In 1896, he registered his own trademark “FV”. He had two sons, George and Henri, who were trained in the great tradition of their father. They joined him, and in 1911 the firm moved to rue Sainte-Anne no 51 under the name of Verger Frères (Verger Brothers). The trademark was then inverted to “VF”.
Beginning in 1879, Ferdinand Verger started to work as an agent for the famous house of Vacheron Constantin. That later developed into a long-lasting partnership. While they were often associated with Vacheron Constantin, Verger produced pieces for the finest houses in the world such as Cartier, Lacloche Frères, Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Gübelin and Boucheron. The partnership between Verger Frères and Vacheron Constantin was formally dissolved in 1938.
The house of Verger was unique in that it was involved in all the aspects of jewellery and watch making. It employed a whole array of artisans – lapidaries, stone-setters, gold, platinum and silversmiths, enamellers, watchmakers and casemakers, designers and renderers and so on, all of whom were fully employed by the firm.
Usually, Verger’s mark will be on the inside of the case, as opposed to the retailer’s mark, which is usually on the surface of the object. The mark to look out for is a lozenge-shaped stamp, with the initials “VF” inside; this is the mark for the most prized Art Deco pieces. The early pieces will bear the early trademark “FV” for Ferdinand Verger (after 1872); “VF” in a lozenge, for Verger Frères, from 1911-1935; Georges Verger et fils, from 1935-1945; and Verger et Co., from 1945-1979.