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Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau Opal and Gold Stick Pin

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.

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Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau Opal and Gold Stick Pin

Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau Pearl, Diamond and Emerald Brooch

An Art Nouveau brooch with pearls, diamonds and emerald by Marcus & Co. The brooch has 10 semi-spherical pearls, 15 Old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 1.25 carats and a polished emerald drop. Gemological Institute of America certificate #2171449596 states the pearls are natural saltwater button pearls. 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-se ... en 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. Plique-a-jour enamel was an art in which Marcus & Co. excelled, creating jewels with unprecedented three-dimensional depth in this medium. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard.

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Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau Pearl, Diamond and Emerald Brooch

Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau White Opal and Chrysoprase, Plique-à-Jour Enamel and Gold Pendant Brooch

An American Art Nouveau 18 karat gold and enamel pendant brooch with opals and chrysoprase by Marcus & Co.. The pendant brooch has 6 cabochon white opals, 63 cabochon chrysoprase stones and plique-à-jour enamel. Suspended from the brooch is an opal and chrysoprase pendant drop. Detachable brooch finding and flip-down bail. 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. Plique-a-jour enamel was an art in which Marcus & Co. excelled, creating jewels with unprecedented three-dimensional depth in this medium. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard. Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019.

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Marcus & Co. Art Nouveau White Opal and Chrysoprase, Plique-à-Jour Enamel and Gold Pendant Brooch

Georges Fouquet French Art Nouveau Opal and Silver Peacock Cloak Clasp

A French Art Nouveau silver cloak clasp with opals by Georges Fouquet. The cape clasp is decorated with 14 bezel-set crystal opal plaques. The clasp is designed as two intertwined peacocks with extravagant whiplash ''feathers''. Inspired by a noted collaboration with the renowned Art Nouveau innovator Alfonse Mucha, this cloak clasp in all its exquisite detail and voluptuous lines perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the period. Its peacock theme was a favorite motif of Fouquet and Mucha. A similar piece is pictured in Alastair Duncan''s, The Paris Salons, 1895-1914: Volume I, Antique Collectors'' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1994, page 251.

Georges Fouquet French Art Nouveau Opal and Silver Peacock Cloak Clasp

French Art Nouveau Baroque Pearl Diamond Enamel and Gold Whiplash Brooch

A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold, platinum and enamel brooch with pearl and diamonds. The brooch has a Baroque pearl measuring approximately 20 mm x 7.15 mm, and 5 old European-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of .55 carat. The brooch is designed in the classic floral/whiplash Art Nouveau motif.

French Art Nouveau Baroque Pearl Diamond Enamel and Gold Whiplash Brooch

Art Nouveau Gold and Platinum Pendant

A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold and platinum pendant brooch with diamonds and freshwater pearl. A remarkable early use of platinum, this Art Nouveau pendant features intricate, sinuous scrolls of gold in a psuedo-Celtic design, terminating in blooming branches of diamond-studded platinum. These rose cut diamonds have the approximate total weight of .20 carat. The piece features one old European-cut center diamond that has the approximate weight of .25 carat and a hanging 3.5mm freshwater pearl drop. Attributed to Maurice Dufrène

Art Nouveau Gold and Platinum Pendant

Art Nouveau Brooch with Aquamarine, Diamond and plique-à-jour Enamel by Lalique

"L''Anémone des Bois", A French Art Nouveau masterwork by René Lalique. Created in 1897, this 18 karat gold brooch showcases Lalique''s mastery of "plique-à-jour" enamel and also represents one of his earliest explorations of the art of molded glass. The brooch is accented by two oval faceted aquamarines weighing approximately 8.10 and 3.75 carats. More than any technical mastery or gemological import, the brooch is distinguished by its aesthetics and its deep meaning. This exquisite "Anémones des Bois" Brooch is an important example of René Lalique''s early work, predating his international debut at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. While his most prolific version of the anemone motif was the "Anémone couronnée" or poppy anemone, only a few choice pieces depict the "Anémone des Bois" or wood anemone. Unlike the poppy anemone, which grew in the balmy Mediterranean summer, the Anémone des Bois was known to the French as the harbinger of spring. While the forest floor lay dormant, the wood anemone alone reared its small head. Areas where the poor could pick this humble flower were demarcated with signs reading "Les Halles." The Anémone des Bois lined the border of the forest, enticing promenading couples into the forest''s embrace for an afternoon tryst. Pure white anemones thus became a symbol of virginal purity, mourning its imminent profanity by carnal desire. Lalique ... knew these traditions well from spending his childhood and summer holidays in the commune of Aÿ in Marne, located on a plateau overlooking the hillsides of Champagne. Two forests dominated the Marne landscape. To the west lay the old-growth forest of Sermiers, and to the east lay La forêt domaniale du Chêne à la Vierge. Promenading in the forest was a popular Sunday pastime for locals, especially as a way to escape the unrelenting dry heat of the noonday sun. Lalique expanded upon the theme of carnal desire, using the anemone to allegorize the stages of courtship. Our Anémone des Bois marked the beginning of this five-year-long exploration. With its petals slightly closed, the flower embodies the initial "rejet" or rejection of love. Fitting of a depiction of "rejet" the work epitomizes divine symmetry and youthful vigor. The flower''s posture relates to local wisdom: villagers could tell rain was coming when the Anémone des Bois closed its petals. By closing its petals, the flower rebuffs the words and sexual advances of the man. The second anemone in the series has its petals in disarray but receptive to potential pollination. An anemone in this position embodied "l''acceptation de l''amour" or the acceptance of love. The third anemone is the most sensual of the series, two anemones approach a passionate kiss, embodying the "consommation" or consummation. The final anemone in the series was completed in 1901. Titled "Mort de l''anémone" it is Lalique''s only representation of the blue anemone. Through the consummation, its petals have been dyed and its purity defiled. In macabre detail, the skeletal structure of the anemone''s rhizomes, or underground stems, are put on full view. The plant has been uprooted, and the encounter has finished. Contemporary novelist Émile Pouvillon related the death of the anemone to the act of deflowering in his 1895 short story "Les Anémones sont Mortes." The story''s heroine, a young country girl, loses herself in a bout of unrestrained euphoria with her lover. In their rolling about, "Anémones des Bois" are ripped out and bruised. At the 1898 Salon, the first Anémone des Bois was a critical triumph. Displayed with the second and third anemone in the series, the first was favored for its fully articulated plique-à-jour leaves. In the premier French decorative arts magazine Art et Décoration, the Anémone des Bois was praised for its "candid whiteness" and leaves that suggest "an infinitely complicated and precious architecture." Our Anémone des Bois is resplendent with the technical acuity that made Lalique known as the "master of modern bijoux (jewelry.)" In his early years, Lalique personally designed and modeled each mold for his creations in clay. These molds were then cast in iron and coated with a paste of resin and beeswax, hand-tooled for detail. The finish pressed-glass jewel was submerged in a bath of hydrofluoric acid, frosting the exterior. A thin layer of "jade green" powdered enamel was sifted and annealed onto the piece. The venation of each petal was painstakingly cut, revealing the plain crystal underneath. The warm glow of the gold backing gives the piece a breathtaking amber hue.

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Art Nouveau Brooch with Aquamarine, Diamond and plique-à-jour Enamel by Lalique

Art Nouveau Hair Comb featuring Carved Horn by Elizabeth Bonté.

A French Art Nouveau hair comb with carved horn by Elizabeth Bonté. The hair comb features two cicadas in carved horn amidst foliage. The comb has five teeth. Elizabeth Bonté was an Art Nouveau designer educated at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and an acknowledged master of unusual and beautiful organic materials in jewels. She was an early proponent of the use of horn, a light and pliable but extraordinarily difficult material that, once mastered, could be tinted, molded and given a skin-like patina. Here the horn has been carved, shaped and colored to represent a pair of cicadas perched among fruiting olive branches and leaves. For years, Bonté''s main rival was a man, Georges Pierre, who ultimately joined her studio. They combined forces, collaborating until 1936.

Art Nouveau Hair Comb featuring Carved Horn by Elizabeth Bonté.