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René Lalique Art Nouveau Plique-à-Jour Enamel and Diamond "Lierre" Ivy Pendant Brooch/Necklace

A work of René Lalique dating from circa 1900-1902, this ivy pendant is composed of enamel, diamonds and 18K gold. It is designed as a large and convex open form of circling vines with variegated green, brown, and blue basse taille enamel bearing pale green plique-à-jour enamel leaves tinged with pale blue and clusters of diamond berries with dark blue enamel stalks and tips, suspended from a later trace link chain. An unusual convex form of both volume and lightness, this large pendant expresses the nature of the plant through its design and materials - even with its delicate leaves, ivy's fibrous, swirling vines are evergreen and fruitful.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: N-21374
Artist: René Lalique
Country: France
Circa: 1900-1902
Dimensions: 2.50" length, 2.50" width.
Materials: 25 old European-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 1.90 carats); 18K Gold; Enamel
Signed: LALIQUE, French export mark
Literature: For a related design of a convex-form ivy branch with diamond berries, in the form of a pendant, see René Lalique 1890-1910, by Sigrid Barten, figure 677, p. 300.

Lalique created a series of plant jewels in plique -à-jour enamel around this time. Rather than referencing botanical manuals, Lalique observed and studied plants in the countryside, and at the Paris Botanical gardens, Le Jardin des Plantes. Some of the species from which he drew inspiration were exotic or extravagant, and he followed their stages from budding to withering. However, he also frequently turned to humble, evergreen ivy, which seems to resist the cycle of nature, remaining verdant throughout the winter. Commenting on the similarity of Lalique's work to that of Bernard Palissy, a celebrated 16th century natural scientist and ceramist, one writer noted: "Both have observed nature with the same curiosity. They sensed the tiniest detail and have lingered long over the slightest events. They felt nothing trifling, nothing contemptible in the spectacle of things natural." As Roger Marx said, Lalique belonged to "the fervent and intellectual cult of the flower." Since ancient times, ivy has symbolized devotion, endurance and longevity.