Marchak Paris was founded in 1920 by Alexandre Marchak (1892 - 1975), following in the steps of his father Joseph Marchak (1854 - 1918) who had founded the family jewellery business in Kiev in 1878. As was family tradition, Alexandre Marchak had been sent to study in Paris where he read Law whilst moving in artistic circles (Modigliani, Derain....). When the family business in Kiev crumbled in the wake of the turmoil of the First World War, Alexandre escaped to Paris with his wife and daughter and a year later opened his boutique at 4, rue de la Paix. The ground having been laid by his father, and finding himself very much at home amongst the Russian artistic and literary exiles in Paris, it did not take long for Alexandre to build his business. By the end of the 1920s he had established an excellent reputation not only in Europe but also in America. Exhibiting alongside Robert Linzeler, with whom he was an associate for a period in the early 1920s, at the famous Paris exhibition of decorative arts in 1925, he was awarded a Grand Prix for his pieces inspired by the Orient in black lacquer and mother-of-pearl. The style of the house remained inspired by the exotic influences of the period, many of their designs paying homage to traditional elements of Persian, Chinese and Japanese artistic expression. These were seen as much in their jewellery production as in that of precious objects - which Marchak were particularly interested. Especially during their collaboration with Robert Linzeler, vanity cases, boxes, ornamental floral sculptures and (enabled by the Verger Frères workshop) incredible Mystery clocks along these themes were made.
Apart from these Art Deco objects made in the 1920s and 1930s, the jewels with which the name Marchak are perhaps most associated today are the works of the 1950s and 1960s. During this time the house was then under the steerage of Jacques Verger (son of Henri Verger, one of the renown Verger Frères who supplied most of the great Parisian houses with incredible objects and jewels during the 1920s and 30s, including mystery clocks as mentioned above). Quite apart from having grown up in the industry, Jacques Verger had been formed as a salesman with both Ostertag and Sterlé. He joined Marchak in this role in 1946. In the decade that followed he became more and more involved in the running of the shop on rue de la Paix and Alexander Marchak sold Verger his shares in 1956. This was made possible with a financier André Delanglade. His addition facilitated financial security and a new avenue of clientele. The final component was an excellent designer, Alexander Diringer, who had joined with Jacques in 1946 also from Pierre Sterlé...which explains the visible cross-over in styles and inspirations between these two houses during this period.
One such influence became a house signature: fluidity. It had its roots in Alexandre Marchak's taste for intricate flexible designs inspired by the Orient. This flexibility was found in the more obvious places such as to create movement in earrings, but also in the most unusual places such as brooches and indeed in any part of a jewel in which it could be incorporated.
The other signature element of March's identity is its colour palette. From the 1950s, with Jacques Verger's charismatic and bold eye, Marchak was fearless with its colour and it is rare to see a subdued palette in their jewels, right until Jacques Verger retired and sold the business to Daum in 1988.