Bonaz, Auguste

A 20th century famous jeweler, he was the son of César Bonaz, also a jeweler. Auguste was born in eastern France in 1877, and trained with his father. In 1900, he succeeded his father as head of his workshop in Oyonnax, Ain.  In 1912, he created Maison Bonaz, an innovative and avant-garde jewelry house. His first jewels were made out of horn then replaced by bakelite and celluloid when they appeared. When he became famous for his ornamental combs, he started innovating with high quality cubist jewels. Mobilized during the First World War, he let his wife Marguerite Marie Bailly run the business. Back in 1918, he discovered Galalithe soon to become his favorite material. After his death in 1922, Marguerite was back in charge of Maison Bonaz. She went on producing combs, but also created other Galalithe jewels, such as necklaces, earrings, brooches, bracelets and numerous inlaid boxes. The company closed out in 1927 after her death.