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."
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Chandelier "Water lilies" Bronze, gilt brass, rock crystal H 110 / D 105 cm H 43 1/4 / D 41 3/8 inches Signed and dated This piece was created for Cristobal Balenciaga France, circa 1970
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Pair of "Water lilies" sconces Hammered brass H 73 / L 40 cm H 28 3/4 / W 15 3/4 inches Signed France, Circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Photo frame Rock crystal and gilt bronze Signed " Yves Saint Laurent, love, 1992" H 9 / L 7 cm H 3 1/2 / W 2 3/4 inches 1992
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) Paper knife Rock crystal and silvered bronze Signed "Yves Saint Laurent, Love, 1991" W 10 1/4 inches France, 1991
SOLD ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) « Hearts» Chandelier Gilt bronze, rock crystal drops Signed H 105 / D 83 cm H 41 3/8 / D 32 5/8 inches Paris, circa 1970
ROBERT GOOSSENS (1927-2016) “Waterlily” mirror Polished brass and mirrored glass Signed and dated H 110 / L 80 cm H 43,3 / W 31,5 inches France, circa 1970