Alexis Falize (1811 – 1898) was born in the Belgian town of Liège in 1811, the son of a shoemaker whose clients included Alexander I of Russia. Alexis was the eldest of four children and after the sudden death of his father when he was 11, he was sent to Paris under the guardianship of relatives who supported his education. He left school at 17 and found himself in jewelry at Mellerio dits Meller in 1833. He was encouraged to contribute to designs and draft suites himself and his work on designs became realities for stock but also bespoke client commissions. The creation of his pieces intrigued his interest in the skills of the craftsmen who worked there, so he started to learn the manufacturing side of the business. After two years with Mellerio Alexis left to work for Janisset where he spent three years until the opportunity arose for him to buy the workshop of Joureau-Robin (a supplier of Janisset). He took over the premises in the Palais-Royale at the end of 1838 thanks to the generosity of his former employer Madame Janisset who, in exchange for exclusive rights to his work, lent him the money to purchase the workshop. Alexis registered his mark in 1841 and spent the next few years continuing to supply Janisset. The Revolution of 1848 resulted in Janisset going bankrupt and Falize was able to move forward without his debt to her. His son Lucien (1839 – 1897) joined him in the business in 1856 at 17 and would go on to prove a valuable partner. Lucien spent his apprenticeship learning technical skills and developing his design abilities. Alexis exhibited a range of enameled pieces he had perfected over the years under his own name for the first time in 1869. His display at the Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts Appliqués à l’Industrie focused on cloisonné jewels. In 1871 the firm moved to new premises on the Avenue de l’Opéra and Alexis made Lucien a full partner. They worked together for several years before Alexis’ retirement in 1876 although Lucien would continue to seek his father’s opinion and advice for the rest of his life. Lucien participated in the 1878 in the Exposition Universelle in Paris and Germain Bapst approached him with the idea of joining their firms together. The benefits to both parties seemed clear and in June 1880 the new partnership was formalized. In 1882 they moved into new premises that had been purpose built for them to accommodate a splendid showroom as well as workshops and offices. Lucien travelled widely and often reported on the exhibitions and events he visited in a series of scholarly articles which, along with the transcripts of his popular lectures, were often quoted as authoritative works. Bapst and Falize dissolved their joint venture amicably in 1892 when the former decided to dedicate himself to the pursuit of academic research. Lucien was joined two years later by his son André (1872 – 1936) who had recently completed apprenticeships both in Lucerne and Paris with goldsmiths, chasers and designers. Just three years later his father suffered a fatal stroke in September 1897. André formed a partnership with his two brothers Jean (1874 – 1943) and Pierre (1875 – 1953). Falize Frères exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle (aided by the financial generosity of a friend of their father) and their display combined works by Lucien, some collaborations between Lucien and André, pieces that had been started by Lucien but completed by his sons and some new works. The firm secured several important commissions during the early years of the 20th century including the Crown Jewels of King Peter I of Serbia which they made in 1904. Falize Frères suffered greatly both during and after the War. Jean made the difficult decision to leave the firm in order to pursue a more stable income to support his wife and two children. André to keep the firm running but he did not have the creative design capabilities or business acumen. His extravagant spending, saw the company decline. Their last order book dates from December 1919 to July 1935 and records only 262 entries in that 16 year period. The firm moved to the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1911 and moved again in 1930 when they sold the building they were in to raise funds. At the time there was little remaining inventory remaining and Andre passed away in 1936.