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Linzeler, Robert

1872-1941

Robert Linzeler was the grandson of Eugène Linzeler who had founded his eponymous business in Paris in 1840.

Robert’s father Frédéric had worked for the family business but Robert set up on his own and in 1897, at just 25 years old, he bought the business of Jules Piault, the renowned silversmith and cutler, from Piault’s successors Leroy & Co.  Situated at 68 rue de Turbigo, Piault had been gold and silversmith to Napoleon III and his business had been a successful one.  Linzeler built on this good foundation and ensured the finest quality goods whilst simultaneously expanding the firms offering.  Linzeler registered his business and poinçon in the April of 1897, keeping the crown mark of Piault but substituting his own initials within the punch.  He exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris where his beautiful vases attracted much attention and praise and he was awarded a gold medal for the cutlery he exhibited.

During the early years of the 20th century he continued to create beautiful items of silverware both on commission and for stock and his pieces were often featured in magazines such as Les Modes. In 1910 he partnered with the fashion designer Paul Iribe who designed a series of jewels which were beautifully executed by Linzeler.  The collection was highly influenced by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and the exotic spirit of the ballet is evident in the designs.  Of the 11 pieces the most famous today is undoubtedly the spectacular aigrette set with a large hexagonal carved Mughal emerald within a diamond, sapphire and pearl sunburst mount. 

Linzeler was a supplier for important retailers such as Cartier for whom he made silverware for many years including candlesticks, desk sets, and dressing table accessories.  He opened a second workshop at 9 rue d’Argenson and in 1920 opened a shop at number 4, rue de la Paix.  It was from here that his partnership with the Russian jeweller Marchak was established in 1922.  Styled Linzeler et Marchak the firm produced some exceptional jewels during their three years of operation. They were one of only thirty jewellers to exhibit at the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. The outstanding quality of their jewellery in terms of design, craftsmanship and technical expertise earned them a Grand Prix and although they dissolved the partnership later that same year, they are remembered for producing some of the most exciting jewels of the Art Deco period.

After the partnership ended, Marchak took over the rue de la Paix premises and Linzeler continued to run his business from his other locations for several more years.  Cartier remained a client and the firm is believed to have helped support Linzeler in maintaining his workshops during the 1930s until they finally bought the business from him shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Linzeler passed away in 1941.