In the 19th Century, the Tabbah family
specialised in engraving wooden blocks
for silk printing. The name Tabbah means
printer. The geographical position of the
town of Zahle where they were based was
located along the silk route, which brought
trade in this industry from east and west.
Joseph Tabbah founds Tabbah as a
jewellery house. Having learned the art of
engraving printing blocks from his own
father, Joseph shows remarkable talent
in the engraving and embossing of gold
and silver objects and becomes
renowned for his delicate filigree work.
In the 1920s Tabbah’s designs included
an Art Deco bracelet in platinum set
Third generation Nagib Tabbah founds
workshop in Bab Idriss, in the area now
called Beirut Central District, and employs
some 50 craftsmen to realize the Tabbah
designs. There are no pictures remaining
of this workshop but within a few years,
Tabbah transforms the space into a
Members of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia’s ruling family, the Al Sauds,
become patrons of Tabbah.
Tabbah pioneers a honeycomb link,
which allows for the creation of patterned
bracelets. These are crafted in a variety
of metals and stones including rose gold
set with diamonds and rubies.
HRH King Abdul Aziz Al Saud visits
Washington DC, USA, and gives
President Eisenhower a sword set with
precious stones as a state gift. This piece
is the handicraft of Nagib Tabbah, and
today is on permanent exhibition at the
Washington Museum, part of the
Tabbah marks its centenary year with
the creation of the first documented
archive tracing the history of the family.
Nagib Tabbah produces what has
become a priceless family treasure:
one unique book with a cover and
binding crafted in delicate gold motifs
and embedded with precious stones.
A special box, made from ivory and
encrusted with precious stones
is also created.
This is also the year that several of the
world’s beauty queens are invited for a
private visit to the Tabbah boutique and
workshops in Beirut. Miss Denmark is
photographed wearing an iconic
Tabbah jewellery piece.
Nagib Tabbah pioneers conceptual jewellery
with the launch of the Phoenician line, which
gains notoriety for its repetitive patterns,
inspired by the region’s culture and history.
The collection continues to be sought-after
Star of the silver screen, actress and
dancer, Ginger Rogers, compliments
Tabbah with a hand-written note.
Fourth generation Nabil relocates to the
Principality of Monaco with his young
family (including his son Nagib who is
named after Nabil’s father), to oversee
Tabbah’s European expansion. A Tabbah
showroom is opened and this move to
Monaco of Tabbah, with Monte Carlo
remaining a destination for many
Nabil Tabbah is awarded the Grand Prix
Triomphe de l’Excellence Européenne, in
recognition of the savoir-faire and high
quality of jewellery, in a ceremony
presided over by famous international
Nabil Tabbah becomes one of the world’s
most respected buyers of important
stones, a position that sees him acquire
the most prestigious and historical
precious stones including, amongst many
others, ‘The Zale Light of Peace’, ‘The
Red Cross’, ‘The Jonker’, ‘The Ashberg’
and ‘The Blue Lily’.
Tabbah launches the Beret ring,
designed by famous Parisian-based
designer Marie-Paule Quercy, who also
works with Hermès. The piece is an
instant sensation, and today remains an
iconic image of Tabbah.
Tabbah launches the Saga watch,
designed by internationally acclaimed
watch designer Eddy Schopfer, who
also works with Ebel and Breitling.
Tabbah had already worked with
Piaget and Vacheron Constantin
to produce collectable Tabbah
timepieces, such as the Double
Godrons and Rolls. The Saga takes
five years of intensive research and
becomes the first of a special generation
to join an exclusive family of uniquely
stylish wristwatches bearing the Tabbah name.
Tabbah opens a boutique directly below
the Hôtel de Paris, located in Monaco’s
most prestigious retail destination.
On May 30 of this year, Nagib Tabbah
senior passes away. His son Nabil
returns to Lebanon and integrates two
decades worth of experience of working
in Europe with state-of-the-art technology
with the traditions of his family’s heritage.
International auction house Christie’s
features important Tabbah pieces put up
for sale by Mona Ayoub, (the former wife
of Saudi royal advisor Dr. Nasser Al
Rashid), who is a celebrated collector of
couture and rare jewellery. The global
hype around this event places Tabbah
firmly on the international map of
high-end jewellery design.
Following studies at the Gemological
Institute of America in New York and time
spent working in Tabbah’s European
offices, Nabil’s son Nagib joins his father
in Beirut. His passion sees the House of
Tabbah explore new creative methods of
working over the coming decade. Nabil
continues at the helm of the bespoke
work, which is branded Infinite Tabbah,
while Nagib founds the Designer
Collection, a range that proves popular
with a younger generation who are
growing into jewellery consumers and
collectors in a more globalised era.
Tabbah opens a boutique in Les Dunes
shopping mall in Verdun, Beirut.
Tabbah opens a second boutique at the
most prestigious hotel in Beirut, the
Under the Designer Collection umbrella,
Nagib Tabbah launches several
collections of jewellery inspired by the
story of Eve’s seduction in the Garden
of Eden. Characters such as the Divine
Serpent and Kiss Me rings become huge
hits which continue to define the Garden
of Eden collections today.
Tabbah opens a boutique in the largest
mall in the world, The Dubai Mall, in the
United Arab Emirates.
Tabbah launches the Copacabana
collection, a line of bracelets that
combines fashion with high jewellery by
mixing brightly coloured leather straps
with an ever-expanding series of
interchangeable motifs crafted from
precious stones and metals.
In close collaboration with HSH Princess
Charlene of Monaco, Nagib Tabbah
designs and crafts bespoke pieces worn
at her marriage to HSH Prince Albert II of
Monaco, son of Grace Kelly.
Tabbah’s iconic timepiece, the Saga,
launches in a series of limited edition
styles including the Saga Sea and
Tabbah is celebrating its 150th
anniversary with a year of new
launches and events.