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Jean Després French Modernist Tri-color Gold Bracelet

Composed of tri-color 18K gold, this modernist bracelet by French jewelry artist Després dates from 1935-1940. It is designed as a series of yellow gold arched, waisted plaques with subtle hammered texturing, centering ridged prism and graduating step motifs in white and rose gold, joined by arched rose gold links. This unusual tri-color gold bracelet represents Després' late work in the Art Moderne style, a rhythm of rounded, parabolic and angular geometric forms expressed in soft, gently textured gold.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BA-21135
Artist: Jean Després
Country: France
Circa: 1935-40
Dimensions: 7.25" length x 0.75" width
Materials: Tri-color 18K Gold
Signed: J. Després, maker's mark, French assay marks
Literature: For a design drawing of a brooch, c. 1935-1940, with the waisted shape of these bracelet links, see Jean Després, 1889-1980, by Philippe Guegan.

A skilled draftsman, Després would design and then execute his jewelry and objets alone at the bench, creating them entirely by hand in his studio, working from his original sketches. He enjoyed the feeling and sound of metal giving way to his will, but there is a sense of celebration of the nature of metal in his work - in fact, Despres' stated purpose was to maintain "all its vitality and suppleness in tact".