An English Victorian 18 karat gold reverse crystal brooch. The finely painted crystal brooch represents ducks in lift-off. The yellow and red gold frame is decorated with dimensional pussy willows intertwined with ribbon. Reverse crystal intaglios are a rock crystal cabochon with an intaglio carved into the flat back and then painted realistically with oils, so that when, viewed from the top, the image has a three-dimensional effect. Finally, the back was sealed with mother-of-pearl, which preserved the painted areas. The motifs most commonly found were sporting themes -- horses, dogs, foxes and birds. The technique originated in Belgium c. 1860 and was popularized in England c. 1860''s by Thomas Cook.
A pair of Spanish Art Nouveau armchairs with giltwood frames by Joan Busquets. Made for Antonio Gaudi''s Palacio Güell, Barcelona, Joan Busquets crafted much of Gaudi''s furniture. A member of a family that was long involved in the design and manufacture of furniture in Spain, Joan Busquests was a proponent of Art Nouveau and modernism at the turn of the 20th century Spain. Most often associated with the architect and designer Antonio Gaudi and the movement specific to the Catalan region of Barcelona, Busquets''s designs encompass a broader range of European Art Nouveau, particularly those of France and Belgium. His furniture is often reduced in scale, embodies the rococo in an inventive way and uses gilding to enhance and lightened design, as well as to serve as a reflective element. This chair model looks identical to a suite of furniture designed in collaboration with Antonio Gaudi for the Güell Palace, Barcelona that is pictured in situ in a photograph from the palace. These chairs appear to be identical to those pictured. From 1840 on, Joan Busquets produced furniture for numerous distinguished clients in Barcelona, and also supplied the aristocracy in Madrid, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the republics of Central and South America. The leitmotiv of Busquets''s firm was the golden sunflower with sinuous stem (to which must be added other motifs based on flora and fauna, suc
h as lilies, orchids and snails), evident in his furniture designs. Provenance: Pedro Uhart, Paris Allan Stone Gallery, New York (acquired from the above ca. 1986) Exhibited: New York, Allan Stone Gallery, Furniture by Gaudi and Busquets, September 9 - November 26, 1996. New York, Allan Stone Gallery, Nouveau to Modern: Transitions in Art and Design, January 16-March 2, 2013.
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