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François-Rupert Carabin Plique-à-Jour Enamel Butterly Pendant Necklace


This masterful and rare Art Nouveau butterfly necklace by François-Rupert Carabin, dating from circa 1900, is composed of gold, plique-à-jour enamel, and pearls. The central motif depicts a woman with outstretched arms and intertwined legs flanked by multi-hued, extravagant plique-à-jour enamel wings, and suspending two pearls, completed by a swag necklace of trace and fancy-link chain. The beautifully modeled woman depicted in a moment of transformation on a glowing background of transparent wings is a celebration of nature and the female form.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: N-20037
Artist: François-Rupert Carabin, Paris
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Size: 22.5" length (necklace chain); 2" length, 2" width (pendant)
Materials: Plique-à-jour Enamel; 2 White Semi-Baroque Pearls; 18K Gold
Signed: “RC” engraved on the reverse of the pendant
Literature: Necklace pictured in in François-Rupert Carabin 1862-1932, by Nadine Lehni & Etiene Martin, Les Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg, p. 101, plate 99
Exhibition History: Similar pieces exhibited at the Musée d'art moderne in Strasbourg, from January 30 to March 28, 1993, and at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, from April 19 to July 11, 1993

François-Rupert Carabin appears to have mastered a variety of artistic media easily. His sculptures in bronze, precious metals and wood are rare, and his jewels even more so. Carabin’s figures are modeled to express raw physicality, with strongly defined musculature and bold curves, veering away from romantic idealization. His women express a sense of agency, at times resisting subjugation, but often expressing joy and strength in their liberty. Here, the woman is depicted in the moment of metamorphosis where she gains the gift of flight.