The renowned Art Deco jeweller Raymond Templier (1891 – 1968) joined his family business in 1919. It had been founded seventy years previously in 1849 by his grandfather Charles Templier ( 1821 – 1884) at 15, rue de la Tixéranderie (now 66 rue de Rivoli) and managed by his father Paul (1860 – 1948) since 1885.
During the early years of the 20th Century the firm achieved much success and participated widely at both national and international exhibitions including London, Buenos Aires and San Francisco where they were regularly awarded prizes and medals for their displays. In 1907 Paul replaced Louis Aucoc as President of the Chambre Syndicale de la Bijouterie et de la Joaillerie Orfevrerie.
Raymond attended the L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre, graduating in 1912, before working as a translator and chauffer during the War. In 1915 he married his Italian fiancé Giussepina and they had a daughter Irene later that same year. He joined his father in the business in 1919 and began designing jewellery in earnest. He rejected the traditional styles that had been the Maison’s forte to this point and embraced a more modernist aesthetic. He took inspiration from his surroundings, particularly industrial shapes and forms, saying “…as I walk in the streets I see ideas for jewellery everywhere, the wheels, the cars, the machinery of today…” He favoured strong geometric shapes such as inverted triangles and rectangles that he paired with curves and arcs in a seemingly infinite array of combinations. Bold, structured and uncomplicated his designs were largely crafted in silver, white gold or platinum and set with cool-toned gems such as aquamarines as well as decorative hardstones such as lapis lazuli and coral. He also used enamel to add colour when necessary and the coquille d’oeuf (egg shell) decorative technique that was popular with several of his contemporaries during the 1930s such as Gérard Sandoz.
Templier exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris where Raymond’s jewellery attracted much attention and praise. He became one of the leading proponents of the Art Moderne movement and created some of the most iconic pieces of the period such as the diadem and earrings worn by the actress Brigitte Helm in the 1928 film L’Argent. The following year Marcel Percheron joined the firm as a draughtsman and began what would become an enduring working relationship with Raymond who, with increasing demands for his time and attention, valued the skills and creative contributions Marcel made to the firm.
In 1935 Paul Templier retired and three years later was awarded the Legion d’Honneur. Raymond was now in sole charge of the business as well as being an active member of various artists’ organisations, as his father had been. The firm continued to exhibit widely and create striking collections of jewellery as well as accessories, particularly cigarette cases, and also sporting trophies for boxing, basket ball and tennis tournaments. Whilst styles moved on after World War II, Templier didn’t move with them and instead stayed true to his particular aesthetic throughout the 40s and 50s. He retired in 1965 and the following year donated designs and several pieces to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition ‘Les Années ’25’: Art Déco/Bauhaus/Stijl/Esprit Nouveau’. His work now forms part of the permanent collections of some of the world’s most important museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Met and of course the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.