Founder (s): Jacques Hobé – Paris, France ~1887 * William Hobé – United States ~1927- 1995. William immigrated to the United States and found work selling theatrical costumes in the early 1920s. Soon he was producing costumes and costume jewellery for the Ziegfeld Follies.
In 1927, William opens the American counterpart of his father’s company Hobé et Cie jewellery company. In the early 1930s, Hobé begins to sell to retail outlets and is becoming a rising star in the theatrical and film world. Many orders came his way. Much like his peer Joseff, his jewellery looked authentic and historically accurate. This was a high profile position and led to many starlets and “super” models [in today’s vernacular] wanting to wear his designs. Naturally this helped his retail sales. By the 1950s, Hobé was designing for some of the most famous leading ladies of the day, such as Bette Davis.
In the 1960s, William’s sons Donald and Robert begin running the company until the 1980s when a grandson named James takes over. The company was sold in 1999 or the very early 2000s although the mark is still in use. Most of the pieces produced by Hobe et Cie were designed by the family during the 1930s through to the 1970s.
Some of the pieces during this time frame were designed by Lou Vici who worked as a designer for the company. Beginning in the 1980s William’s grandson takes over operation of the company. Techniques/materials: High quality costume jewellery using top of the line materials such as platinum, semi-precious stones and vermeil. This jewellery looked like the real thing and utilised some of the same construction techniques, reproducing historical jewellery.