Iconic Jascha Brojdo… Georges Briard

Iconic Jascha Brojdo… Georges Briard

This is an article re-post originally written for Audrey Would! back in August 2013. Now that Audrey related blog posts are featured here, I wanted to re-share, because I love the story behind this Mid-Century great, and his ornately detailed pieces.

You know a notable designer when you see one – that is, when you search for a photograph of him, and all that comes up, image after image, is his amazing work!

Jascha Brojdo. Do you know who I’m talking about?

Photograph of Georges Briard - Anthology House

{Source: Anthologie House}

That’s right. Georges Briard!

Georges Briard was born in the Ukraine in 1917 under the birth name of Jascha Brojdo. At the age of 20 he made his way from Poland to Chicago where he earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the Art Institute of Chicago. Do you know he also studied at the University of Chicago?

Jascha, being fluent in several languages, also served for the US Army in WWII as a Russian translator. He was discharged in 1947, and that’s when his life took on the shape we now connect him to.

A known, or maybe lesser know fact, Georges was an artist first, a designer second, which was ultimately instrumental in his use of Brojdo vs. Briard. But first, how did Georges Briard even come to be? How did he get that name from Jascha Brojdo?

After Jascha was discharged from the army, by the 1950s he had started working in New York with Max Willie whom he met in art school. Jascha first hand painted blank trays, which quickly became a huge success. These trays were initially signed with ‘Brojdo’, but because they were such a success, Willie came up with a pseudonym to mark Brojdo’s commercial pieces, and save his personal last name for his paintings. This is when Georges Briard was born!

How the actual name, Georges Briard, was chosen is mildly amusing. Willie liked ‘Georges’ simply because it sounded very ‘French’, and Briard after the breed of dog he [Willie] had recently lost! No, we’re not making this up!

Georges Briard became most well known through the 1950s, 60s and 70s for his signature dishware and glassware, from basic pieces to gold plated serving dishes. He was behind some of the decorated pieces of companies like Libbey and Anchor Hocking, as he would buy them clear, add his artistry and sign off with his finishing touch.

Georges Briard was also known for his ornate barware pieces like you see here.

Briard Pieces

I am of course swooning, and so excited to currently have this collection available at Audrey Would! {Bar Tools} {Gold Filigree Ice Bucket} {Gold Filigree Highball Glasses}

Though he never did officially change his name, in spite of how or where Jascha Brojdo’s designer name came from, the bottom line is the 22k gold signature we have all come to know was, and still is his brand.

Georges Briard Gold Ice Bucket - 22k Gold Signature 

Jascha Brojdo died on July 30, 2005… Georges Briard lives on today!

I am happy to raise a glass in celebration of Jascha Brojdo yesterday, Georges Briard today. Will you join me?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated. Please link and credit if you choose to use! 🙂


17 thoughts on “Iconic Jascha Brojdo… Georges Briard”

    • It’s so incredible how many amazing designers were and are out there. My love for Mid-Century design led me down the path to learn about many of the icons behind the furniture, but it wasn’t until Audrey Would! that I learned more on this next layer. The one thing that comes ’round with both is the quality and attention to detail – so much harder to find in today’s world!

    • Hi Tia,
      Great question! The filigree is a 2-part process. The brighter, yellowy gold is a metallic overlay, and the darker is hand painted in 22K gold. The photos don’t do justice to the true colours of the golds… but this question has me thinking I might need to add a close-up. Thanks so much for your comment!!

  • Okay, I need to send you a photo of some glasses I bought at a thrift store last year. They have the same gold on them although the pattern is a bit different. I wonder if they could be the same designer. Thanks for sharing Sheila!

    • Thanks Tracey! I’m trying, but man-oh-man it’s tough to unearth some of this info – I know it’s hidden away in books if we’re lucky, so I’ve started investing in some out-of-print books ‘n things to help boost the background info! Love the internet, but it’s often scant for these iconic guys!

  • Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a
    new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a marvellous job!

  • I have some handpainted woodenware signed BROJDO. I believe it may be the early work of Georges Briard. Is there any expert I can consult on this?

    • Hi Gayle,

      I’m sorry, but I do not have the names of Briard specialists per se. Jascha Brojdo was George Briard’s birth name, but as far as woodenware, I do not know a lot about his production of woodenware pieces. In the earlier days trays were a big part of Brojdo’s creations as well as cheese boards, and his earliest work was signed Brojdo, not Briard. My apologies for not being able to assist further.

      Thank you for connecting with your question! Sheila

  • I have an ice bucket made by George Briard that I received 30 years ago as a wedding present we never used it and kept it boxed up. Decided to sale it because we are down sizing. The original ticket is on it with model number but never could find a price. similar ones were selling $75.00 to $100.00. It is crome and gray vinyl suede with heavy chrome top and handle. Item # B 3738-01Chrome/ Grey Flute 3 qt. Taiwan.

  • Hello I have this brown glazed ceramic Claypot that has 3 red flowers. And at the bottom it signed George Briard. But I’ve never seen any works of him in glazed ceramic form. Anyone familiar with him doing that kind of material/ work

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