The French Jewel Box is a second generation family business owned by husband and wife team, Louise and Lachlan Burnet. Originally founded by Mary-Lou Walsh, Louise’s mother, as Melee Jewellers in Southland in the early 1980s. In 1984 the business expanded into Melbourne’s CBD in the historically important and beautiful Block Arcade. Mary Lou’s daughter Louise joined the business with a BA in Art History and background in precious gemstone trading with a strong love for antique jewellery. Louise is a registered valuer with the National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) and is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA). Under Louise’s keen custodial eye, the business has always consistently offered a wonderful collection of antique and bespoke jewellery that is carefully curated with an emphasis on clever craftsmanship, beautiful design and rarity of the piece.
Prior to joining the French Jewel Box, Lachlan Burnet had an extensive career within the auction industry in Melbourne, working as both an auctioneer and valuer specialising in the fields of fine art, decorative art and fine furniture as well as acquiring a diploma in Aboriginal Art History to compliment his valuation credentials. In 2013 he applied his knowledge and expertise within the jewellery sector, and went on to become a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia, creating a knowledge base of new skills. His talent for sourcing beautiful objects has been used to compliment the presentation of jewellery to great effect and is synonymous with the stores’ delightful window display.
Famous for its beautiful windows, when it opened the French Jewel Box was a tiny iconic treasure trove nestled next to the famous Hopetoun Tearooms. In 2022, the store moved to shop 21 under the great dome at the heart of the Block Arcade. The iconic new space, designed by award winning Kate Challis Interiors, is an oasis and truly unique shopping experience housing extraordinarily beautiful and unique antique and vintage treasures.
As the custodians of such rare and fine pieces, the staff pride themselves on creating a warm, friendly and welcoming environment in which to share their knowledge and expertise in styling pieces to fit any aesthetic. The marriage of your existing jewellery and that special antique or vintage piece to mark a special moment in time is what we do best.
As members of the antique and vintage jewellery community, we understand and are passionate and ethically conscious about sustainability and the impact on environment and resources.