A pair of French Mid-20th Century 18 karat gold cuff links with lapis lazuli and turquoise by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. The cuff links have a total of 22 cabochon turquoise stones set into the 4 lapis lazuli balls. Made in the Schlumberger Paris workroom. Similar pictured in The Jewels of Jean Schlumberger, by Chantal Bizot, Marie-Noel de Gary, Evelyne Posseme, Preface by Helene David-Weil, Harry N. Abrama, Inc. Publishers, 1995, page 64.
The "Fish" Box by Alfred Daguet. This rare and stunning French Art Nouveau box is decorated with red enamel surrounding the fish swimming upon the top of the box. The fish''s fins are fully open displaying this creature''s innate beauty.Alfred-Louis-Achille Daguet (Paris, 1875-1942) is famed for his exquisite desk boxes which transform bronze, copper and glass into flowing, organic examples of the Art Nouveau style. Among colleagues as diverse Odilon Redon, the proto-surrealist, and Thomas Eakins, a father of American realism, Daguet studied painting under Jean-Léon Gérôme, the towering academician and outspoken adversary of everything Impressionist. Influenced by Gerôme''s compositions of dynamic tension and his scrupulous attention to life-like detail, by his early 20s Daguet had transferred his talents to Sigfried Bing''s famed gallery "L''Art Nouveau". There, in Bing''s studio above the shop on the rue de Provence, Daguet began creating his extraordinary bronze metalwork, often inlaid with copper panels as well as hardstone and glass cabochons, which Bing would then offer on the gallery floor alongside the objets d''art of Louis Tiffany, William Morris and Eugène Gaillard.This box is one in a series of square forms featuring profoundly integrated compositions portraying unusual predators, with their skins, spines and fins employed as unifying design elements. Created b
y a masterly combination of repoussé and chasing, the fish''s high relief body rests upon a red ground. When the lid and front side are opened, a beautiful red leather interior is revealed. In 1905, when Bing closed his gallery, clients like Sandra Bernhardt and the Barrymore family simply followed Daguet to his new studio down by the Observatory in the 10th arrondissement. It was World War One that brought about a 12-year hiatus and transformation in Daguet''s career. Like Jean Després, he was recruited as an aviation designer and illustrator, earning the title of "true apostle of aerial art", while his work continued to evolve. Intriguing descriptions exist of a series of steel and bronze DESKS exhibited at the Galiera in 1926, suggesting Daguet embraced an Art Moderne aesthetic. Where are they now, and who will rediscover them?Until then, we are proud to share this rare and powerful artwork with our collectors. The "Fish" box is Daguet at his best, exhibiting masterful control of his materials of invention and articulating a clear and unyielding aesthetic vision.Similar boxes by Daguet are pictured in: The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. V: Objects d''Art and Metalware, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1999, pp. 202-203.
The eminent Belle Epoque dealer and collector Jane Lady Abdy referred this striking 1897 image by Alphonse Mucha as "a secular icon". Inspired as an Art Nouveau update on Michelangelo''s sibyls, the young woman with gems entangled in her swirling hair appeared in five "variants" of the original poster. These variants include examples with four to eight colors, one with raised ink, others bearing French, Greek, Arabic and Spanish lettering, all on a royal purple or lavender ground. According to Rennert and Weil, this is "Variant 3" of the original image. For a second, contrasting version of the advertisement, from 1898, Mucha depicted a young woman with black hair, dressed in a flowing gown printed in fugitive red ink. The posters advertized Jean Bardou''s range of wildly popular pure rice rolling papers, which included exotic flavors such as licorice and vanilla. The brand was christened "JOB" by the public, who blithely misread the JB monogram flanking a stylized diamond, and the name stuck. Perhaps the enduring appeal of Mucha''s early advertising work lies in the way the artist created highly effective brand images within an evocative work of art and imagination conveying the spirit of his contemporary world. Even the sinuous line of silky white smoke is subtly converted to an artistic element providing depth and perspective, while the mysterious woman appears to surge forwa
rd through the frame into the present.Printed by F. Champenois, Paris. Pictured in: "Alphonse Mucha: The Complete Posters and Panel", by Jack Rennert and Alain Weil, G.K. Hall & Co., Publishers, Boston, pages 82-85, cat. 15.Framed: 28.5"H x 24" W
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