The Kutchinsky business was established when Hirsh Kutchinsky and his family fled Poland and set up shop in London. Prior to 1918, Poland was yet to achieve independence and they were still being run by their powerful neighbours. Having experience in the courts of Ludwig of Bavaria, the Kutchinsky family knew they needed to move to a country where they were welcome and their jewellery would be in demand.
Morris Kutchinsky and his children Solomon and Joseph began to change the face of design in the London jewellery trade. The business thrived even during the Second World War when Joseph joined the British forces. Many businesses failed during the raids and the subsequent rationing and restrictions but with a strong focus on customer service and knowledge of their customers’ tastes, Kutchinsky flourished. Joseph became the manager of the business and it went from strength to strength.
When Joseph returned to the business after the war, there was a lot to rebuild. He was one of the first jewellers in London to work with platinum and this increased the popularity of their fine jewellery. A lot of the jewellery made during this time was ostentatious as people celebrated the end of restrictions and luxury goods becoming available again. Their whimsical designs mixed with 18ct gold and encrusted with diamonds appealed to the growing wealthy.
Due to the decline of London’s East End in the late 1950s, Joseph decided to relocate the business to Knightsbridge which was a great success. They designed and crafted very stylish gold and platinum jewellery set with diamonds and precious stones.
Characterised by high quality craftsmanship, use of bold colours and love of whimsy and kitsch, their designs are as eye-catching and wearable today as they were two generations ago.
The menagerie of often gem-set or enamel animal designs are particularly recognisable Kutchinsky pieces.
Fellows, in Birmingham, has enjoyed significant success with the brand in recent months. “As with all iconic mid-century designers, demand has increased in recent years,” said Ben Randall, the senior specialist in charge of the Antique & Modern Jewellery auctions at Fellows. “I think that it is the colour combinations that make Kutchinsky designs special. Their post-war style was innovative and it has stood the test of time.”
1980’s – Now
After finishing their education, Joseph’s sons Roger and Paul joined the business. Kutchinsky jewellery became increasing popular and one especially lucrative aspect of their business was exports to Middle Eastern countries. Unfortunately, things changed after the invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing war and Kutchinsky faced serious financial problems.
The business was eventually sold to another important London jeweller, Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd In 1991 and Joseph retired soon after. He passed away in October of 2000.
For people still in the trade, Kutchinsky is a style and brand from an era in London which is now gone. 80% of Kutchinsky goods sold are second hand and they are a fantastic example of those eras. Their ranges from the ’30s and ’70s are the most sought after.