Henri Vever Chronology
Vever born in Metz, France.
Following the German annexation of Metz during the Franco-Prussian War, the Vever family leaves Metz for Luxembourg.
Jean-Jacques Ernest Vever (father of Henri) buys a jewelry studio in Paris. Vever begins apprenticeship at Loguet and at Hallet and attends night classes at the Ecole des Art Décoratif in Paris.
Vever enters the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the studios of M.A. Millet and J.L. Gérôme.
Jean-Jacques Ernest Vever retires and Vever and his brother Paul assume control of the jewelry shop (Maison Vever). Henri Vever marries Jeanne Monthiers.
Jeanne Vever gives birth to Marguerite Vever, the couple’s only child.
Vever buys first painting.
Vever travels to Russia where the Maison Vever takes part in a jewelry exhibition in Moscow.
Vever becomes a regular participant of the dîners japonisants organized by art dealer Siegfried Bing.
Vever appointed commissioner for jewelry to the World’s Columbian Exposition, in Chicago. Maison Vever exhibits jewelry at the Exposition.
Vever donates forty Japanese prints to the Louvre.
Vever joins the Société Franco-Japonasie and is elected the mayor of Noyers, France.
Vever publishes, Bijouterie Française au XIXe Siècle.
With Georges Marteau, Vever authors,
catalogue of the 1912 Exposition des Arts Musulmans.
Maison Vever commissioned to make sword of honor offered to Marshall Ferdinand Foch by the city of Paris to celebrate the end of World War I.
Marguerite Vever dies.
Maison Vever closes.
Jeweler, art collector, and author Henri Vever was born in Metz, France in 1854. Together with his older brother Paul, Henri Vever managed the family jewelry firm, Maison Vever, from 1881 until Paul's death in 1915 and Henri's retirement in 1921. As an art collector, Vever amassed a large collection of European, Asian, and Islamic art. Through his work as a jeweler, art collector, and author, Henri Vever played an important role in the twentieth-century art world.
To equip him with the proper skills to run Maison Vever, Henri Vever apprenticed in the studios of Louguet and of Hallet and attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in 1871. Two years later, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts accepted Henri and he entered the studios of artists M.A. Millet and J.L. Gérôme. Jean-Jacque Ernest Vever retired from Maison Vever in 1881 and his two sons, Henri and Paul, assumed control.
The youngest son of Jean-Jacques Ernest Vever, Henri Vever was born into a family of jewelers. His grandfather, Pierre-Paul Vever, launched a successful jewelry shop in Metz in 1854. Upon retirement, Pierre-Paul Vever's son, Henri's father, assumed control of the shop. With the German annexation of Metz during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Jean-Jacque Ernest Vever took his family to Luxembourg and one year later acquired a jewelry shop at 19 Rue de la Paix in Paris and named the new shop Maison Vever.
That same year Henri married Jeanne Monthiers and she gave birth to the couple's only child, Margeurite, in 1882. Henri, Jeanne, and Margeurite Vever lived at 19 Rue de la Paix in the same building that housed Maison Vever. In 1892 Jeanne Vever inherited her family's estate in Noyers, France.
The Vever brothers ran a very successful jewelry studio. Not only did Maison Vever's clientele base expand during their tenure, but its designs were often prizewinners at various expositions around the world. The 1900 Exposition Universalle in Paris offers an example. The Maison Vever submission won a Grand Prix at this exposition in which the art movement Art Nouveau played a major role.
Henri Vever was a proponent of the Art Nouveau movement, a turn-of-the-century art movement whose adherents sought to forge a new, modern style, one that would, "reunite art and craft." According to curator Glenn Lowry, Vever's interest in Art Nouveau affected the Maison Vever's designs. "…during the 1880s many of the Maison Vever's designs were highly traditional, by the beginning of the 1890s the firm was at the vanguard of the art nouveau movement.
In addition to his work at Maison Vever, Vever amassed an enormous and influential collection of European, Asian, and Islamic art. Initially a collector of European art, by the late 1880s Vever's collecting interests expanded to include Asian and then Islamic art works. According to Lowry, Vever's interest in Islamic art was sparked in 1891 when he traveled to Moscow to participate in a jewelry exhibition. In approximately 1892 Vever joined
Les Amis de l'Art Japonais
, a group whose members met for dinners at which they discussed Japanese art. Claude Monet was also a member of this group.
From 1906 to 1908, Vever published a three-volume series,
Bijouterie Française au XIXe Siècle
. This set became the, "standard text on nineteenth-century jewelry". Through his art collections, writings, and profession, Henri Vever played an important role in the twentieth-century art world. He acquired a large art collection and often loaned pieces out for exhibition to various galleries and museums throughout the world. Henri Vever retired from Maison Vever in 1921 and the sons of Paul Vever, André and Pierre, took over the reigns. Henri Vever died in 1942 at the country estate in Noyers. Maison Vever continued operation until 1982 when it permanently shut its doors.