Jean-George Rémond (1752-1830) was a jeweller, goldsmith and founder of the firm Jean-Georges Rémond & Company. Born on 27 July, 1752 in Hanau, Germany, which, in the second part of the 18th Century, was the centre for the production of jewellery, clocks and enamel painted snuffboxes. Many of the Hanau jewellers and watchmakers were Huguenot families who were forced to leave France due to persecution generated by the abolition of the Edict of Nantes on religious freedom in 1685.
Rémond perfected his jewellery skills in the major European cities of Paris, Berlin and London. His works were in great demand and soon Rémond became a participant of an elite group of European artists producing jewellery and clocks together with musical and entertaining automata. At the age of thirty-one, Rémond moved to Geneva and on 18 June, 1783, was registered as “a jeweller from Hanau”.
On December 22, 1783, Rémond was officially admitted as goldsmith-jeweller and founded the company Georges Rémond & Cie and registered his first identification hallmark. Rémond produced snuffboxes with the movements of Jacquet-Droz and Leschot; Piguet and Meylan clocks; and Jean-Louis Richter and Jean-Abraham Lissignol enamels.
- There is very little known about Rémond’s personal life. He married Elizabeth Bariyon, who came from a Protestant family, on November 22, 1784.
Over the years the business name changed, along with an array of working partners. From its original name it became Guidon Remond Gide & Co, Rémond Gide & Co, Remond Lamy & Co and Jean Georges Rémond et Compagnie. With offices in both Geneva and Hanau, they further traded as Remond Lamy Mercier & Co until 1811.
Geneva was captured by Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops in 1798, and the town’s authorities introduced the French system of gold and silver objects’ identification. With the trade situation worsening throughout the Napoleonic Wars, many of Geneva’s jewellers opposed the innovations until December 1806; when their resistance was broken by the official Napoleon decree. French jewellers left Geneva in 1814 and a new procedure of identification was adopted in the city.
- Rémond’s jewellery manufacturing and trade were widely spread and had a good reputation. The products were exhibited in Paris and London and were sold in Germany, Russia, Turkey, India and China.
There were some difficulties in business after 1812. It might be caused by the death of Rémond’s wife Elizabeth in 1810; and his partner in Hanau, Zhan Bema, in April 1811. After 1820, Rémond lived in his hometown of Hanau; in his own house on Römergasse, until his death on 11 February, 1830.
- Jean-Georges Rémond and his partners’ production of gold snuffboxes during a thirty-five year period was extremely important. They were the first to use painted images on a polished base, fine work on gold foil, transparent enamel over guilloche; and engraving and edging made of pearls. His pieces were works of fine jewellery. Today they deservedly adorn the most significant state and private collections scattered around the world.
Discover more about Jean-Georges Rémond’s work at the Koopman Art website.
“Is It Art?”