The Verger Frères house

Jul 25, 2014

Pieces from the Verger brothers are rather rare in auctions and when they do, they reach important sums. Yet they are not well known to the general public. A set of two bracelets recently went on sale a few weeks ago at Sotheby’s. I wrote about it in the article dedicated to the important pieces of this sale. Looking at the results, I noticed that these bracelets, estimated between £20,000 and £30,000, had more than doubled their estimates. They sold for £74,500. And I thought that an article dedicated to this house would be in order. So I invite you to follow me to discover a little more about the Verger family.

The story begins with Ferdinand Verger, the father. He started the company in 1872 but registered his brand in 1896 under the hallmark “FV”. He was a jeweller but above all a watchmaker. Indeed, watchmaking and the manufacture of precision mechanisms will remain the main specialities of the company. Ferdinand had two sons: George and Henri. Trained from childhood, they were very close to the jewellery sector. The archives tell us that on 14 June 1910, Ferdinand Verger had the “F.V.” hallmark modified. It seems that it was during 1911 that his sons joined him to take over. The company was then passed down through the family until after the Second World War. It is from this date that the company becomes “Verger frères”, the hallmark is then transformed into “V.F.”. They were then located at 51 rue Saint-Anne in Paris.

If this company is little known to the general public, it is mainly because they are manufacturers. They signed few pieces in their own name but worked for the biggest names in the Place Vendôme and Rue de la Paix. They work for the whole of Europe but also with the USA. Thus we find the hallmark of the house on mechanisms for Lacloche, Van Cleef and Arpels, Tiffany, Cartier, Boucheron to name but a few. But the Verger company would be nothing without the Vacheron Constantin company. The father, Ferdinand, began his career as an agent for this house. He continued to work with them thereafter, and his sons took over after his death in 1928, until 1938.

The house had its heyday during the Roaring Twenties. It is an important and sought-after signature of Art Deco. It lasted and then changed hands after the war when it was taken over by the Lenfant company to become “Verger & Co”. The last of the Verger family, Jacques, joined the Marshak jewellery house in the 1950s, where he practised his art of jewellery making and trading. The Verger house fell completely into oblivion in the 1960s and 1970s. The archives of the house were taken over in the 2000s by the Atelier Bouder, a well-known manufacturer in the trade. The company decided to relaunch the name a little more than a year ago by reissuing some models but also by offering new creations. In the meantime, I suggest you to discover some very beautiful pieces typical of the production of the house.

“La maison d’Hortense” was created by Verger frères for Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1930s. Originally, it was an aquarium commissioned by a maharajah for his frog. It was later modified to become a birdcage housing a pair of emerald lovebirds. It was sold at Christie’s in 2009 for over $120,000. Photo: The jewelry loupe.

This pocket watch was made for the Lacloche company. It is made of gold, diamonds, enamel and fine pearls. It is typical of the production of the house between 1920 and 1930. Photo : Bonhams

Drawing board for watch projects by Verger frères between 1920 and 1930. Photo: la cote des montres

Gold and diamond bracelet signed by Boucheron but made by Verger, probably in the 1940s-50s. Photo: Artcurial

Rare mystery clock made by Georges Verger around 1931 for Black, Starr, Frost-Gorham, Inc. It was designed by Vladimir Kakovsky. Platinum, yellow gold, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, turquoise, rock crystal, black onyx, set with diamonds and emeralds, with key for winding and setting the time. It was sold at Patrizzi & Co. in 2009. It was estimated at $500,000 to $600,000. Photo: Tendance horlogerie.

See you soon!


marie chabrol

Hello my name Is Marie. Speaker, consultant & teacher, I write with passion about the world of jewelry.

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