A pair of French "Byzantine Heads" lithographs by Alphonse Mucha. The mastery evident in creating two archetypes of the female form against a decorative background confirms Mucha's artistic maturity. Both women, portrayed in profile, have their heads decorated with beautiful jewelry, the richness and oriental nature of which suggested the name Byzantine Heads for the series. The subtle differences in details between the paintings are worth noticing. This is the first appearance of the perfect form of Mucha's often-used motif, a circle framing each head interrupted by a strand of hair. With this device, it is as if Mucha's unreachable beauties have broken the magic border between themselves and their admirers and suggest the possibility that they might, perhaps, meet. (Mucha/Art Nouveau, p. 192). In this version, Mucha added corners filigreed with curves to the original circular designs in order to create the standard rectangular shape of decorative panels. This is the rarest of all variants. Pictured in "Alphonse Mucha, The Complete Posters and Panels", by Jack Rennert and Alain Weill, page 167, cat. 40, variant 1.
|Dimensions: 20-1/2'' high x 14¼'' wide each|
|Item #: ML-17602|
|Price: $47,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
Muller Frères displays an incredible intellectual unity between this vase's design and it's literary title. The "Coeur de Jeanette" was an Alsatian colloquialism for the Bleeding Heart Flower. Referring to a jewelry form comprised of a Latin cross suspended from a bleeding heart, newly working young girls across Northern France would use four months of pay to make their first autonomous purchase. Crucially the purchase was made on the titular Fête de la Saint-Jean. The "Coeur de Jeannette" represented a rite of passage for Alsatian young girls, and one that is perfectly expressed by this vase's crepuscular setting. Just as twilight denotes the border between day and night, the Fête de la Saint-Jean marked the border between girlhood and womanhood. The "Coeur de Jeanette" is an inverted baluster shaped vase that has been blown, cased, cameo cut, wheel engraved, and enamelled. The vase has a lipless rim and a splayed firing foot. A shell of opalescent glass was blown onto a core of non lead colorless glass. The opalescent glass gives the interior a captivating rainbow iridescence that is brought out under reflected light. The gather was subsequently marvered and cased in a layer of silver nitrate amber glass, an intercalaire layer of translucent white glass and finished with a layer of translucent aubergine glass. The intercalaire layer has a spatter of powdered glass inclusions that radiates from the base to the rim. The powdered glass inclusions come in two colors: translucent fuschia pink and opaque periwinkle. The opaque periwinkle serves as a reprise to the milky color of the vase's opalescent glass interior. The translucent aubergine glass was deeply carved giving the veins and leaf margins the highest relief. This technique perfectly captures the transmitted light that affects leaves with frontal views and upwards facing planes. Miniscule bubbles were created on the surface of the translucent white layer by sprinkling bistre colored glass inclusions on the surface while the gather was still in a semi-molten state. In the process of the blowing of the vase, the base was subtly twisted clockwise from the foot giving the viewer a sensation of rising air. Two racemes of foreground blooms were enamelled in two layers. For the normal cultivars, the fuschia pink of the powdered inclusions are reprised as a layer atop the cream colored enamel, applied thickly or thinly depending on the petal's venation with a brush and needle. For the white "Alba" cultivar, a variation on the "grisaille" technique was used. The shadows of the petal were modeled by exposing the aubergine glass underneath. A layer of translucent "jaune d'antimoine" (antimony yellow) enamel was applied, reflecting the light of the amber colored sky. Latent in the piece is the repeated graduation of pictorial motifs, namely the graduation of the magnitude of blooms on each flower raceme, the illusion of depth created by racemes of different sizes and the graduation of the edges of the leaves towards the base and foot. The softness of the edges serve to mimic human vision in crepuscular settings. Masses become unified in tone while backlit individual objects still retain some sharpness as they silhouette against the flaxen twilight. References: Kelly, Barbara L. 2008. French music, culture, and national identity: 1870-1939. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.Baudoin, Marcel & Lacoulomere, Georges., Le Coeur Vendéen, Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, 1903
|Artist: Muller Freres|
|Signed: MULLER FRES LUNÉVILLE|
|Dimensions: 11'' high|
|Item #: G-17749|
|Price: $15,000 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
A French Art Nouveau mahogany side table with carved decoration in an abstract curvilinear vegetal motif by Edouard Colonna (1862-1948). Along with Louis Comfort Tiffany, Edouard Colonna was one of the main designers who worked for Siegfried Bing and who, under Bing's guidance, was responsible for the creation of what is known today as the Modern Style, or Art Nouveau. Colonna is remembered for his tasteful elegance and his use of abstract forms to create a graceful linear rhythm and dynamic intertwining lines. While he occasionally started with a floral motif, Colonna abstracted nature to create the impression of a flower bud or bloom held within a carefully constructed geometric scheme. This design scheme is evident in the delicate carvings ornamenting each leg of the table and in the overall rhythm of the piece. Colonna furniture, jewelry and designs for small objects like scarf and money holders would become the backbone of Bing's business. By 1898 a number of his works were on display at Bing's L'Art Nouveau. A similar table is pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. III: Furniture", by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1996, p. 109.
|Artist: Edouard Colonna|
|Dimensions: 31-1/2'' diameter x 24'' high|
|Item #: F-15517|
|Price: $27,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
An Antique silver-top 15 karat gold necklace, composed of 5 openwork flower motif clusters. The clusters are connected by diamond set swag links. Both clusters and links are set with old mine-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 16.80 carats.
|Dimensions: +/- 16" length|
|Item #: N-10920|
|Price: $39,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
An English antique 18 karat gold pendant locket with pearls and diamonds. The pendant locket has 1 old mine-cut diamond with an approximate total weight of .18 carat which is surrounded by a seed pearl-set garland. The locket is suspended from an antique 18 karat chain and has a split opening with two interior compartments.
|Dimensions: 25" length x 1-1/2" width|
|Item #: PT-15649|
|Price: $9,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
An Antique 18 karat gold and enamel pendant cross with lapis lazuli. The pendant cross is designed in a Renaissance Revival style, intricately enameled and backed with lapis lazuli and inlaid gold. Hair locket. Inscribed "HAC" and "Obit July 6th, 1877".
|Dimensions: 3-1/8" x 2-3/8" wide|
|Item #: PT-15911|
|Price: $45,000 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
A pair of antique silver-top/18 karat gold rhodium plated earrings with diamonds. The earrings have 96 Old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 8.70 carats, (including large diamonds, approximate weight .75 carat each), H/I/J color, SI clarity. In the late 19th century, a revival of Georgian and French 18th-Century design took place. These pendeloque ear pendants exemplify this revival, as the majority of ear pendants of this age were set entirely with diamonds or a combination of diamonds and pearls. Similar examples of these earrings are illustrated in Earrings, by Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi, Thames & Hudson, 1990, pgs. 71-76.
|Dimensions: 1-1/2" length x 3/4" width|
|Item #: ER-16126|
|Price: $32,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|
A pair of English Antique 15 karat gold and oxidized silver earrings with diamonds and pink topaz. The earrings have 86 round old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 7.20 carats, and 8 pear- and round-cut pink topaz stones with an approximate total weight of 4.70 carats. In the Georgian-style of girandole earrings. With antique box. Similar earrings are pictured in "Earrings, From Antiquity to the Present", by Daniella Mascetti, Amanda Triossi. Thames & Hudson, 1990, page pg. 50-51.
|Dimensions: 3 inches in length x ¾ inches at widest|
|Item #: ER-16168|
|Price: $47,500 – Call: (212) 644-6400|