Authentic Lalique signed brooch diamond floral enamel plique a jour, French jewelry

(Click the picture to get to this magnificent Lalique brooch.)

Dreams captured into jewelry


René Jules Lalique – The “Rembrandt” among the jewellers was the leading French jewelry designer known for his faboulous creations in the Art Nouveau period.
Lalique created new techniques and highly original designs. He was born at Ay, on the Maine, was apprenticed at 16 to the Parisian silversmith and jeweller, Louis Aucoq, attended art schools in Paris and London, and upon returning to Paris made designs for Aucoq, Cartier, Boucheron and others.
He managed, and in 1886 took over, the workshop of Jules d’Estape. After making, in 1891-1894, several pieces of jewelry for Sarah Bernhardt, he exhibited his work at the 1894 Paris Salon, and was acclaimed for his Art Nouveau jewelry, especially after his success at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 which led to his vogue with royalty and the aristocracy.
As it is almost a must to any self-respecting jewelry collecting museum to own a piece of Lalique jewelry with plique-ajour enamel (the glass stained window effect), most of these pieces disappear into museum collections. Therefore it is very unusual to find Lalique pieces in the trade.

Hide and Seek Treasure, Art Nouveau four leave clover gold locket

Art Nouveau (French for New Style) is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art – especially the decorative arts – that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905).
The name “Art Nouveau” is French for “new art”. It is also known as Jugendstil, German for “youth style”, named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, and in Italy, Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style, and in Holland as “Sla-olie-stijl”, Dutch for “salad oil style” after a advertisement poster for this product that was made in that style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms.
Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life. Although Art Nouveau fell out of favour with the arrival of 20th-century modernist styles, it is seen today as an important bridge between the historicism of Neoclassicism and modernism.

French gold Art Nouveau pendant plique jour enamel emaille fenetre sunrise or sunset motif

French gold Art Nouveau pendant with plique a jour enamel (emaille a fenêtre)
(Click the picture to get to this beauty)

One of the nicest little pendants with plique a jour enamel we have ever seen. French Art Nouveau (ca. 1895-1905) as only the French can make it, refined, tasteful and of superb quality. Too bad we couldn’t decipher the remains of the mastermark but we wouldn’t be surprised if this beauty was made by one of the famous French jewelers.

Plique-à-jour, (French for “braid letting in daylight”) is a vitreous enamelling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It has a stained-glass like appearance and is considered very challanging technically.

Pure Art Nouveau

Pure Art Nouveau Pendant Signed by French Artist E.Dropsy

Pure Art Nouveau Pendant Signed by French Artist E.Dropsy

The name Art Nouveau most of us know but depending on the country the style has some different names. In Germany it was called “Jugendstil“, after a magazine called Die Jugend (The Youth), in Holland “Slaoliestijl” (salad oil style) after an advertising for salad oil and in Italy “Floreale” or “Stile Liberty” (after the London store that featured it).

One of the joys of our métier is that every now and then we stumble upon a piece of absolute beauty. As was the case this week when the depicted Art Nouveau pendant was being offered to us. It’s a sort of locket except there is no place for pictures because the original mirrors are still inside. Pure Art Nouveau, made in France, bigger then it appears on the picture (height 6.10 cm or 2.40 inch), fully signed E.Dropsy and of a quality that we hardly see. Look and enjoy!