Louis Rousselet, 1892 - 1980 Born in Paris, France. At the young age of 8 he apprenticed to learn the art of lampworking beads. By 1922, he had his own business in the Menilmontant area of Paris, manufacturing both glass and galalith (a type of plastic) beads. Faux pearls made of glass coated with a fish scale-based composite were also made there until the late 1960s.
Rousselet’s company supplied hand made and faux pearl beads to outlets around the world employing hundreds of workers spanning over more than 50 years in business. Workers were trained for six to seven years, learning to produce beads that were handcrafted and polished in a wide range of shapes and cplors. The last skilled worker trained in this manner retired in 1975.
The beads were also incorporated into finished jewelry as well. Early on Rousselet designs were worn by performers such as Josephine Baker and those of the well-known Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergere. Denise Rousselet, Louis Rousselet’s daughter, contributed jewelry designs to the business occasionally during the 1940s and ‘50s before solely taking over the design responsibilities for the company in 1965.
The jewelry is hard to come by these days; collecting is a wonderful challenge but the reward is owning exquisite pieces of rare glass jewelry and beads