Leopoldo Janesich, originally from the Dalmatian coast, opened his first shop in the prosperous Northern Italian industrial hub Trieste in 1835. Offering jewellery and silverware to an array of the international clientele that the city hosted, Janesich’s reputation grew and the company thrived. Upon Leopoldo’s death in 1880 the firm was left in the hands of his son Giovanni. In 1896 Giovanni moved to Paris and opened an office in Paris, rue Lafayette, from which he traded in pearls and gem stones along with his son Alberto who had a particular gift for gem stones. His other son Giuseppe, who had inherited his grandfather’s interest impeccable taste and interest in the fine arts stayed to run the salon in Trieste.
There was much exchange between these two locations and pieces made in France were sent to Italy for sale and vice versa. Having expanded successfully in this way, the Janesich network was able to forge important connections. In Italy the firm worked closely with Bulgari and in Paris with Boucheron, Vever, and Chaumet. The Parisian connections having been facilitated by Alberto opening a retail space in 1913 on rue de la Paix between Tiffany and Cartier. They not only hired important designers such as Alfred Langlois (who famously worked for Van Cleef & Arpels amongst others) but continued to sell stones to their neighbours. Janesich also opened a smaller outpost in Montecarlo.
This expansion continued after the First World War ended with locations in Biarritz, London and Vichy. Through their many presences, Janesich was able to encounter the best of Europe’s mondains. To mentiona few of their clients; the Archduke of Austria, King Nicholas of Montenegro and the Duke of Aosta, Princess Ruspoli and members of the Rothschild family.
After Giovanni Janesich’s death in 1927, Giuseppe’s son Pietro joined his father and the next generation was introduced to the firm. Pietro’s turn at the wheel would not be an easy one. By 1937 when his father died, they had navigated a world financial crisis together, but now Pietro would find himself alone to confront the continuing devastation of the Second World War, which he did with admirable results. However, when Pietro died in 1971 there seems to have been a pause in Janesich’s activity.
Thankfully this legendary house has now been revived by the current generation and Francesco Janesich has opened their doors once again, via San Nicolò in Trieste. Thus reigniting the legacy of a family whose taste in jewellery in the first half of the 20th Century is still admired today. To the initiated, the name Janesich evokes a sensitivity and delicacy in design coupled with an avant-garde use of stones and the cuts of these stones themselves. This is perfectly understood when considering the combination of aesthetic and gemmological prowess that ran through the branches of this family tree.