Robert Goossens

French, 1927 - 2016

Robert Goossens (1927-2016), was a goldsmith, jeweler and designer of decorative objects and furniture, a master craftsman with a rare talent and a genuine passion for his art. In 1942, at age 15, Goossens began his career in Paris, serving an apprenticeship as a goldsmith at Bauer, a workshop for Cartier. There he learned and honed his exceptional skill, casting and working metals into fine jewelry and small objects with precious and semi-precious stones.

Goossens devoted time to studying the sumptuous jewelry and metalwork designs of Byzantine, Renaissance and medieval artisans. His unique creations, which he considered an alternative to traditional jewelry, offered a modern reinterpretation of historic styles, blending them into a spirit of luxury and bohemian spirituality. He designed and produced couture jewelry for Chanel, Rochas, Schiaparelli, and Balenciaga. Gabrielle Chanel, in particular, was a devotee of Goossens’ work. In addition to jewelry for the House of Chanel, for her unique costume jewelry combining fine metalwork with paste “jewels” and for her personal collection, she went on to commission furniture, chandeliers and mirrors from Goossens for her Paris apartment at 31 rue Cambon. Among the pieces Goossens designed and created were a waterlily pedestal table and a table with a wheat sheaf base, symbolizing prosperity, both of which are still present in the apartment. The collaboration continued right up until her death in 1971.

Cristóbal Balenciaga was another early patron, commissioning jewelry for his haute couture collections and chandeliers and mirrors for his atelier. Today, vintage Robert Goossens furniture and lighting is highly sought after by architects and interior designers; AD100 architect Peter Marino is an admirer of the work, which he has placed in private clients’ residences and in his redesign of CHANEL boutiques worldwide.

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