Robert Goossens was born in 1927 in Paris of a bronze smelter father and a mother working in a theater. In 1942 he began his apprenticeship as a goldsmith at the workshop Bauer, creating pieces for Cartier. His initiation continues in the workshop Lefevre, again for Cartier. In 1949, he performs very varied orders requiring mastery of various techniques, such as inlaid ivory, tortoiseshell and mother of pearl, woodworking and leather, sculpture, painting or enamelling. At this time, Max Boinet, a friend of fashion designers, leads Goossens in the world of high fantasy jewelry: Dior, Balmain, Balenciaga, Schiaparelli. But Robert Goossens remains fascinated by ancient jewelry. In 1953, Mr Degorce seeks Robert Goossens to assist him. The 75 years old master craftsman realizes jewelry accented with pearls, rhinestones, ruby and sapphire for Mrs Gabrielle Chanel. Nothing to do with his real goldsmith profession but Goossens learns. He thus begins indirectly at Chanel and gives free rein to his creativity. He develops Visigoth or Etruscan inspired jewelry. For Hermès, he created the hedgehog, the horseshoe and the caliper in gold and silver. His dream takes shape: evolves alongside the big names.
Following the disappearance of Mr. Degorce in 1957, Coco Chanel’s assistant, Mrs Michelle, summoned him. Coco crosses the corridor. Robert Goossens arises. She looks at him and says, "I trust the real professionals." This brief interview marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration until the disappearance of Gabrielle Chanel. One day Robert presented a jewelry collection inspired by Ancients. "They are beautiful," she said, "and if we are asked, we will say they come from the excavations of the rue Cambon!" Mademoiselle wants more! Always jewelry, but also objects, mirrors, chandeliers, furniture where pyrites, rock crystal and corals fit together. All those symbols, like the wheat heads prosperity and happiness in the house, are precious to Coco Chanel. At the end of the fifties, Goossens develops his decorative arts production,which he calls “space jewels”. Robert chisels and gilds a consequent harvest, signing either “Robert Goossens” or “Robert from the Marais”, referring to the district of Paris he likes. His first “space jewelries”, real interior ornaments, are the Wheat sheaf table and the Waterlily pedestal. He declines his favorite patterns like coral, seashells, hearts, chains and the foliage on the bronze he gilds and often adorns with rock crystal. "As for jewelry and decorative items, I think I am today the only witness to the creative spirit of Mrs Chanel, professionally speaking." Between 1954 and 1971, he invented an amazing vocabulary of forms that marked the decorative arts.
Yves Saint Laurent
"Mr. Jewel" started in 1974 at Maison Saint-Laurent in collaboration with Loulou de la Falaise suggesting him new inspiration tracks. Robert documents and imagines a line of jewelry as Africanists bamboo models while continuing to decline the themes of hearts and crosses on his favorite “space jewels”: chandeliers, tables and mirrors. Goossens and Saint-Laurent became friends, and the fashion designer asked him to create very limited editions of “space jewels” to gift to his relatives, as the photo frames made with gilded bronze and rock crystal en 1980. The collaboration is very successful until 2000.
In 2005, Robert Goossens sells his company to Chanel and agrees for the time of "active" retirement, as he likes to say so. He sponsors the creative workshop "The Paruriers". Robert continued to dream about new projects: creating a training workshop for youth to make them benefit from his extraordinary experience. Although he likes to add, maliciously, "I have learned my craft in the street."
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Gilded bronze chain and heart shaped structure adorned with rock crystal elements Made for Gabrielle Chanel Signed H 92 x D 82 cm H 36.22 x D 32.28 inches France, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Waterlilies chandelier Structure made with gilded bronze and brass imitating waterlilies, adorned with raw rock crystals on the crown, and a smoked quartz on the center Signed and dated "Robert Goossens 1973" H 130 x D 120 cm H 51.18 x D 47.24 inches France, 1973
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Pair of gilded bronze candle sticks, of Persian inspiration, with an ornemental silver ring Signed under the base H 28 x W 13 x D 9 cm H 11.02 x W 5.12 x D 3.54 inches France, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Gilded bronze structure adorned with natural rock crystals Signed and dated unique piece H 120 x D 120 cm H 47.24 x D 47.24 inches France, 1982
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Gilded bronze cat head shaped box Made for Loulou de la Falaise Numbered 1/50 Signed "Robert Goossens" à la base H 11 x W 10.5 x D 10.5 cm H 4.33 x W 4.13 x D 4.13 inches France, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) "Coral" mirror Gilded bronze frame imitating coral, reflecting glass H 101 x W 78 cm H 39.76 x W30.71 inches Signé et daté France, circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-1026) Corail et coquillages mirror Gilded bronze frame imitating coral and seashells, reflecting glass H 101 x W 78 cm H 39.76 x W 30.71 inches France, circa 1980
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) "Dreamy tree" chandelier Gilded bronze chandelier shaped like a blossoming tree, rock crystal drops Signed and dated Unique piece H 130 x D 110 cm H 51.18 x D 43.31 inches Weight 80 kg France, 1986
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Winter tree Gilded bronze tree sculpture adorned with rock crystal drops H 53 x D 43 cm H 20.87 x D 16.93 inches Unique piece France, circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Coral Mirror Gilded bronze imitating coral frame, reflecting glass H 140 x W 105 cm H 55.12 x W 41.34 inches Signed and dated France, 1976
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Rare pair of waterlily sconces Gilded bronze, rock crystal 14.57 x 17.72 x 5.91 inches France, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Firedog ornaments Rock crystal, brass, gilded bronze H 21.7 x W 9.5 x D 26.8 inches Signed France, circa 1970
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Cork screw Gilded bronze, rock crystal H 4.5 x L 4.3 inches France, 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Storage tray Patinated bronze Signed "Robert du Marais" H 6 x W 23 x D 20 cm France, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Small storage tray Patinated bronze Signed "Robert du Marais" H 4 x W 14 x D 11 cm France, circa 1970
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Necklace made for YSL Gilded bronze H 9 x W 5,7 x D 3,3 inches H 23 x W 14,5 x D 8,5 cm France, circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) "Waterlilies" Table Gilded bronze and glass H 18,9 x D 23,6 inches H 48 x D 60 cm France, circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Sculpture Rock crystal cross, amethyst, bronze pearl, gilded brass leaves, wheat and rock crystal base Made for Saint Laurent H 50 x W 37 x D 13 cm H 19.69 x W 14.57 x D 5.12 inches France, circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) "Cat" sculpture Gilded bronze Made for Loulou de la Falaise H 12 x L 10 x W 8 cm H 4,7 x L 3,9 x W 3,1 inches France, Circa 1980
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Photo frame Gilded Bronze, rock crystal Made for Yves Saint Laurent Signed and dated "Yves Saint Laurent 1992" H 9 x W 7 cm H 3,5 x W 2,8 inches France, 1992
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Sheaf of Wheat Gilded bronze, brass, rock crystal and wheat H 50 x D 40 cm H 19,7 x D 15,7 inch Signed "Robert du Marais" France, ca 1975