Trabert & Hoeffer Mauboussin
French jewelry house Mauboussin and Trabert & Hoeffer formed a partnership that lasted seventeen years. Mauboussin had begun to establish itself in the United States during the 1920’s opening a boutique on Park Avenue. They soon opened a second branch in Palm Beach, Florida. At the beginning of October 1929 Mauboussin moved its New York premises into a five story town house on East 51st Street. Less than a month later the stock market crashed and financial difficulty fell over the company the next few years. It was forced to close both its New York and Palm Beach stores in 1935. Mauboussin held a liquidation sale in the December of that year. Howard Hoeffer of Trabert & Hoeffer saw an opportunity with the situation. Randolph J. Trabert & William Howard Hoeffer set up their business together in 1926. Howard was always buying and selling and focused himself as a trader while William developed the retail side of the business. It was Howard who was purchased Mauboussin jewels and offered the company a partnership at the end of 1935 as he wanted to own high end pieces for his higher end clientele at a discount. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement as Trabert & Hoeffer acquired a level of prestige that a French name had and in March 1936, the New York Times announced the ‘merger’ of Trabert & Hoeffer Inc. with Mauboussin. The locations in the United States were run almost exclusively by Howard Hoeffer and the name change was done to their signage at locations in New York, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and Miami Beach. Hoeffer traveled to Europe frequently to be a part of the evolving French jewelry scene and hired Gustave Toth as a designer for jewelry here in the States. In 1938 they introduced the first "American Style" jewelry to the market with a bold look of its own. The collaborations with Hollywood continued and THM jewels were seen on and off screen making them a fashion piece for all. In 1939 Mauboussin returned to New York at the World Fair and Hoeffer encouraged those attending the fair to visit their location as well. New THM stores were opened in Palm Beach and Chicago. They began to import stones from South America which helped them last through the war years. Then in the 1950’s Hoeffer began to disengage from jewelry and focused his time on real estate. The jewelry business began to decline and Mauboussin had regained full financial strength post war in Paris. The partnership suffered and severed in 1953.