Plisson et Hartz
The French jewelry firm of Plisson et Hartz excelled at making jewelry in the Art Nouveau style, as well as gold chimerical and animal designs. Begun in 1872 by Plisson and partner Bottentuit, Plisson directed the firm alone from 1886 to 1898, when he was joined by longtime associate Hartz, the creative force behind their designs. Plisson continued in the company until his death in 1904, at which time Hartz continued the firm as Hartz et cie.
The firm was the first to produce chimerical jewels, those of gold griffins and mythical monsters. Using the goldwork techniques developed in France during the 1870’s and 1880’s, jewelry firms such as Plisson et Hartz began to create a variety of mythological creatures. Initially the public disliked the designs, however soon the tide shifted and Plisson et Hartz chimerical jewelry became extremely popular. The firm also interpreted this trend to encompass Art Nouveau themes, such as the very desirable mermaid motif. Also popular were diamond animal jewels and designs depicting baskets of flowers in a variety of stone and enamel settings.