EXCEPTIONAL ART NOUVEAU WOOD ANEMONE PENDANT BY RENE LALIQUE. CIRCA 1903.
SOLD : ACQUIRED BY PETIT PALAIS, MUSEE DES BEAUX-ARTS, PARIS
This exceptional Art Nouveau wood anemone pendant/brooch was made by the famous French goldsmith and glass designer René Lalique (1860-1945). It represents two wood anemones in opalescent glass with blue enamel centers, within curled green plique-à-jour enamel leaves accented with diamond highlights, mounted in 18 karat yellow gold.
Signed : LALIQUE
Paris, circa 1903.
Dimensions: 6,6 x 5,2 x 2,5 cm.
In 2009 this piece was spotted during the recording of a Dutch antiques appraisal programme entitled ‘Tussen kunst en kitsch’ at Groeneveld Castle in Baarn, The Netherlands and was recognised by the jewelry expert as a genuine René Lalique.
The as yet unknown jewel was an important find. The grandfather of the owner – a former consul in St. Petersburg – purchased the brooch directly from Lalique in 1903, probably in connection with an exhibition of his work in St. Petersburg. When the family fled the country during the Revolution, they brought the brooch with them to the Netherlands. The owner had never had it appraised before and was therefore very surprised when she was told it was valued at approximately 100,000 euros. It was the most valuable piece of jewelry to have been discovered in the 25 years of ‘Tussen kunst en kitsch.’
Epoque Fine Jewels became the piece’s new owner and sold it to the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
This beautiful pendant/brooch well exemplifies Lalique’s mastery of design and of craft. He has characteristically selected a motif from nature within the conventions of the Art Nouveau style, translating it into an elegant graphic scheme.
Lalique was the undisputed genius of Art Nouveau jewelry. He turned completely upside down the conventions of French jewelry design and manufacture by introducing in their place an entirely new form of artistic expression which was to totally transform the jeweller’s art.
Today Lalique’s jewels remain the most powerful and poignant reminders of the turn of the century.
CHAZAL, G. & CHAZAL, M., Bijoux Parisiens : French Jewelry from the Palais Royal, Paris, Memphis, Tennessee The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 2013, p. 100, cat. 93.
“The fragile anemones that flower in early spring woodlands appear in the Wood Anemone Pendant (cat.93) from about 1900. The pâte de verre of the petals conceals drops of drew lying in the hollow of the plique-à-jour leaves striped by the first rays of spring sunshine.
Lalique evoked the true essence of nature. He was an innovator and a creative artist who perceived light in his material, used it masterfully, and breathed life into it. “
(CHAZAL G. & CHAZAL M., Bijoux Parisiens, p. 101)