A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold and enamel pendant by André Rambour. The pendant depicts a maiden within an enamel iris which is suspended by fancy link chain and an enameled foliate top.Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019.
A French Art Nouveau iridescent enamel-glazed ceramic charger by Clément Massier, after a design by Alphonse Mucha, depicting a woman''s profile in Byzantine dress and jewels. The particularity of this ceramic plate is that it combines Massier''s talent as a ceramist and Mucha''s talent as a draftsman. Indeed, the blond Byzantine head depicted on the charger was originally designed by Mucha in 1897, as part of his artistic diptych "Byzantine Heads."
A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold pendant with diamonds, pearls and peridots. The pendant features a plique-à-jour background with rose-cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of .60 carat, 3 freshwater pearls measuring 3.70 mm, and 3 pear and round-cut peridots with enamel decoration surrounding the profile of Juliet.Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019. Note: This exquisite Art Nouveau image depicts Juliet at the moment when Romeo, lingering in the Montague''s garden, catches sight of her on her balcony. She is illuminated by the dawn light, represented in the jewel by the sparkling diamonds framing her head and the panes of glowing plique-a-jour enamel behind her. Though he first sees Juliet dancing with another man, Romeo is not put off, predicting that their love will prove "a beauteous flower" and identifying her with light: "she teaches the torches to burn bright". Meanwhile, behind a veneer of obedience, Juliette, resolute, witty, and loyal, chooses independence in death over life with the man her father has commanded her to marry. In part thanks to his captivating and complex woman heroes like Juliet, Shakespeare "went global" in the 19th century, inspiring world artists not only in drama but painting, printmaking, fiction, music and jewelry.
This Art Nouveau pendant-brooch by Marcus & Co. presents a flowing form abstracted from the delicate shapes of flowers and leafy vines. Its subtle coloration comes from the use of unusual materials, such as rare chrysoprase and translucent plique-à-jour enamel, whose organic greens are set off by pools of spectral hues provided by the shimmering opals. Signature Marcus gold work, characterized by the miniature scrolls, incised circles, stippling, and graduated beads, adds to the organic feeling of the flowing form. Wearable on a simple black ribbon or cord, it is a statement of inspired naturalism.The pendant brooch is set with 6 cabochon white opals, 63 cabochon chrysoprase stones, and is highlighted by plique-à-jour enamel. Suspended from the brooch is an opal and chrysoprase pendant drop. Detachable brooch finding and flip-down bail.Shown in the Poster House (New York) exhibition "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau./Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019. The multi-generational New York firm of Marcus & Co was founded by an ambitious young German immigrant who had trained with a prominent court jeweler in Dresden. In 1892, after working with Charles Lewis Tiffany, Hermann Marcus and his sons William and George together set up a business that soon became a glittering New York society institution renowned not only for its superb diamonds, colored stones and pearls, but also
its instantly recognizable, original design style. The firm produced great jewels in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts sensibility, with George, the artist/designer, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as the contemporary French masters, the Moghuls and Maharajahs, the garland style of the Ancien Regime, and the genius of Renaissance goldsmiths. George''s distinctive, confident hand was always discernible in Marcus creations. Working as a team with George, William was a gem and pearl connoisseur who travelled the world hunting for exceptional gem material, including purchasing the entire production of never-before-seen black opal from Lightning Ridge Australia in 1908. Marcus exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, and their work won prizes from the prestigious Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston. Plique-à-jour enamel was an art in which the firm excelled. Displaying a mastery equal to that of the French artists, they created jewels with unprecedented three-dimensional depth in this medium. The firm and family were well-known for their charitable activities and promotion of young jewelers such as Raymond Yard. The firm''s jewelry is a focus of the collection of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A French Art Nouveau gold and plique-à-jour enamel pendant with opals, freshwater and natural pearls by Georges Fouquet. The pendant has 11 opals, 13 freshwater pearls and one natural saltwater pearl. The pendant is designed in a flowing foliate motif with plique-à-jour enamel leaves floating over translucent opals and decorated with clusters of pearls. With signed G. Fouquet box. Exhibited at the Poster House, New York exhibition, "Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau / Nouvelle Femme," June 20-October 6, 2019.
A pair of French "Byzantine Heads" lithographs by Alphonse Mucha. The mastery evident in creating two archetypes of the female form against a decorative background confirms Mucha''s artistic maturity. Both women, portrayed in profile, have their heads decorated with beautiful jewelry, the richness and oriental nature of which suggested the name Byzantine Heads for the series. The subtle differences in details between the images are worth noticing. This is the first appearance of the perfect form of Mucha''s often-used motif, a circle framing each head interrupted by a strand of hair. With this device, it is as if Mucha''s unreachable beauties have broken the magic border between themselves and their admirers and suggest the possibility that they might, perhaps, meet. (Mucha/Art Nouveau, p. 192). In this version, Mucha added corners filigreed with curves to the original circular designs in order to create the standard rectangular shape of decorative panels. This is the rarest of all variants. Pictured in "Alphonse Mucha, The Complete Posters and Panels", by Jack Rennert and Alain Weill, page 167, cat. 40, variant 1.
A pair of French Art Nouveau lithographs, "Dawn and Dusk," by Alphonse Mucha. These two panels, both representing reclining female figures, are among the few horizontal formats produced by Mucha. These two ladies represent the terminal points of the sun''s daily journey. Dawn is represented by a girl removing the coverlet from her nude torso as she looks towards the rising sun. Dusk is a somnolent beauty settling down in her bed under the last rays of the day. Some of the most delicate pastel shadings are used by Mucha to differentiate one from the other. Pictured in: "Alphonse Mucha, The Complete Posters and Panels", by Jack Rennert and Alain Weill, G. K. Hall, 1984, page 258-259, plate 70.
A French Art Nouveau "La Plume - Zodiac" lithograph by Alphonse Mucha. With Zodiac, Mucha reaches the full maturity of his style, with every one of his signature design elements in their most fluid and elaborate incarnations. The image was originally published as a calendar by F. Champenois but was quickly bought by La Plume, who began issuing it as a calendar with their own name at the top. The image was a huge success and was ultimately used for a variety of different advertising purposes. This lithograph is discussed in: "Alphonse Mucha: The Complete Posters and Panels", by Jack Rennert and Alain Weill, Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1984, pp. 100-102 and pictured in the same volume on p. 103 (var 1).
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