Artistic Luxury: Faberge, Tiffany, Lalique

Authors: Stephen Harrison, Emmanuel Ducamp, Jeannine Falino

Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique—these great designers came together only once to display their goods in what was probably the most opulent exhibition ever mounted. At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the three strove to position themselves ahead of their many competitors in the luxury market, each presenting his jewelry and home adornments as high art. Their success is explored in this splendidly illustrated catalogue, which elucidates the prewar pinnacle of European culture.The array of displayed objects was mesmerizing: Tiffany glass, Easter eggs to dazzle the Czars, realistic insects created in precious materials as sinister decorations. Many of these bore influences of the advanced art of the time, such as Art Nouveau, Viennese modernism, and symbolism, and of styles from around the world. Four essays discuss the works in the context of their times, illuminate the high societies served by the three masters, and trace the cultural trends behind their extraordinary creations. A treasure of accompanying photographs shows the individual exhibits, scenes from the World's Fair, and the glitterati who wore the jewelry.

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