The oldest jewelry company in the world has long since turned 400 years old. Which is of (very distant) Italian origin. Mellerio, whose full name is Mellerio dits Meller, is now French. It was founded in 1613 and the descendants claim to be the oldest family-type business in Europe. The jewelry also gives its name to a particular cut of gems, the Mellerio in fact, which has 57 facets in an oval shape within an ellipse. Today Mellerio has a shop in rue de la Paix, in Paris, with branches in Luxembourg and Japan.
The jewelry company started its business in 1613 by the Mellerio family, originally from Val Vigezzo (north of Lake Maggiore), but later moved the business to Paris. Jean-Baptiste Mellerio (1765-1850) then opened a workshop in Versailles in 1777, where the court of the King of France resided. In 1796 the Mellerio family also opened a shop in rue Vivienne, also in Versailles. Francois Mellerio (1772-1843) then moved with the company to Paris.
The Maison Mellerio owes its fame to the extraordinary ability to make jewelry, a quality that has guaranteed it the favor of many crowned heads. Starting with the Italian, who became queen of France, Maria de ‘Medici, second wife of Henry IV, which fell in love with Mellerio’s jewels. Since then the road has been downhill between Versailles and the Maison as far until Marie Antoinette. But even after the French Revolution, Mellerio jewels continued to be coveted: an esteemer was Napoleon’s first wife, Giuseppina.
Since 1815 the workshop has been at 9 rue de la Paix, where it is still located today. Masterpieces of the goldsmith’s art are marked in the jewelery ledgers, such as a bracelet with a cameo and ruby purchased by Queen Marie Antoinette, the diadem bought by Napoleon’s sister, or the tiara with ruby ordered in 1888 by the King of the Netherlands and magazine of recently during a Dutch royal wedding, in 2004. Or a brooch representing a peacock, with a golden beak and waves of diamond plumes, made in the early twentieth century for an Indian marajà. Now the historic maison is celebrating four centuries of activity. Hoping to have four more to do.
Naturally Mellerio, alongside the conspicuous tradition inherited from the past, has been renewed and today offers collections suitable for modern times. For example, the new high jewelery Collection Privée, where stones, shapes and colors are tuned to the tastes of modern queens, but also of all women who have the privilege of buying or receiving Mellerio rings, necklaces and bracelets as gifts.