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Philippe Wolfers Plique-à-Jour Enamel and Gem-Set Pendant Necklace


A masterwork of Art Nouveau jewelry, this elegant gold pendant necklace is composed of plique-á-jour enamel, en plein enamel, demantoid garnet and diamonds. A sensitive representation of the European plane tree, the delicately shaded greenish gray, blue and red enamel leaves suspend three seed balls, interspersed with sinuous vines and highlighted by a cushion-shape demantoid garnet and old European-cut diamonds. The necklace is completed by an intricate hand made chain of braided wirework. This extraordinary jewel, combining expert artisanship and emotive naturalism, is the single example of this design, making it a unique and original work of wearable art.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: N-19560
Artist: Philippe Wolfers
Country: Belgium
Circa: Before November 1901
Size: 17.25” length (necklace); 3.1875, 2.125 width" (pendant)
Materials: Cushion-shaped demantoid garnet (weighing approximately 1.50 carats); 13 Old European-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 0.65 carat); 18K Gold; Together with original fitted box
Signed: With maker’s PW monogram; stamped “Ex Unique” for “Exemplaire Unique” to indicate that a single example was made
Provenance: Sold by the artist to Madame C. (New York); Antwerpen 1903 mentioned in the collection of Madame von H.; Sold at Sotheby’s New York 15 April 1999; Véronique Bamps
Exhibition History: Hamburg 1901, p. 17-18, no. 7; Bruxelles 1902, s.p., no. 8; Anvers, 1903, s.p., no. 21; Lisboa-Brussel-Bruxelles 1991-1992, p. 89, no. 123 (modèle en plâtre); Zürich 1993-1994, p. 47, no 28.1 (modèle en plâtre)
Literature: Similar necklace pictured in La Dynastie Wolfers, De L'Art Nouveau à L'Art Déco, by Werner Adriaenssens and Raf Steel, Les Éditions de L'Amateur, 2006, #111

Philippe Wolfers' highly original and beautiful work was sought out even by Cartier, who purchased his snake bracelets for their clients demanding jewels in the Art Nouveau style. Cartier themselves did not create Art Nouveau jewels, but knew where the best were to be had.