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.
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.
A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold link long chain. The link chain is formed of 145 lozenge-shaped links which have wire arabesque motif overlay. The attached shield-shaped medallion depicts Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII in 1429.
A pair of European Art Nouveau 18 karat gold cuff links with green chrysophrase. The oval-shaped cuff links have 4 cabochon green chrysophrase stones surrounded by high relief engraved scroll work. Double sided.
An American Art Nouveau 18 karat gold stick pin with enameling and black opal by Marcus & Co. The stick pin has a cabochon opal surrounded with four enamel side sections decorated with gold relief arabesque designs. The multi-generational New York firm of Marcus & Co was founded by an ambitious young German immigrant who had trained at a prominent Dresden court jeweler. In 1892, after working with Charles Lewis Tiffany, Hermann Marcus and his sons William and George together set up a business that soon became a glittering New York society institution renowned not only for its superb diamonds, colored stones and pearls, but also its instantly recognizable, original design style. The firm produced great jewels in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts sensibility, with George, the artist/designer, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse and exotic as the contemporary French masters, the Moghuls and Maharajahs, the garland style of the Ancien Regime, and the genius of Renaissance goldsmiths. George''s distinctive, confident hand was always discernible in Marcus creations. Working as a team with George, his brother William was a gem and pearl connoisseur who travelled the world hunting fine gem material, including purchasing the entire production of never-before-seen black opal in Lightning Ridge Australia in 1908. Marcus exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and
their work won prizes at the prestigious Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard.
A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold pendant with pink sapphire, diamonds and pearl by Lucien Gautrait. The pendant has a pear-cut pink sapphire with an approximate total weight of .80 carat, 2 old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of .10 carat, and a baroque pearl drop. The pendant shows an emergent woman with flowing hair and outstretched arms in a euphoric opium-induced state. Art Nouveau 18 karat chain not original to the piece. Pictured in Masterpieces of French Jewelry, by Judith Price, Running Press, 2006, page 48. Pictured in Henri Vever French Jewelry of the Nineteenth Century, Thames Hudson, 2001, page 1110.
A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold and enamel pendant by André Rambour. The pendant depicts a maiden within an enamel iris which is suspended by fancy link chain and an enameled foliate top.Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019.
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