Originally from Hungary, John and Robert Rubel set up their first workshop in Paris, on 22 rue Vivienne, in 1915. Experienced jewellers who had already established a shop in Hungary, their extraordinary skills and craftsmanship were quickly recognized by the most renowned French jewellery houses such as Van Cleef and Arpels and Ostertag. Manufacturing for these brands, the Rubels subsequently also developed their own creations. In 1939, the Rubel brothers left Paris for New York to produce jewellery for Van Cleef and Arpels. The partnership was to last for another four years, before John and Robert opened their own firm on Fifth Avenue in 1943. While having dinner in a Latino nightclub in the Lower East Side, John was inspired by a flamenco performance and quickly sketched the silhouette of one of the dancers onto a corner of the table cloth. The sketch was shown to Maurice Duvalet who transformed the sketch into a beautiful Spanish dancer brooch, set with rose-cut diamonds. This became the first of the iconic ballerina dancer series that Rubel and Van Cleef and Arpels were famous for.