Wednesday, 16 March 2011

VEVER: japanese inspired "garland style" body ornament

Like everyone else in the planet, can't stop thinking about Japan!. This piece will also be exhibited by Wartski in May, it is a corsage ornament featuring a group of cherry blossoms. It dispays the diamond setting and flower motifs typical of the "garland" style from the late XIX Century but the choice of the cherry tree is definitely Japanese inspired an it has a something special, modern for the time; it is a truly naturalistic design, instead of a static bouquet. It was made by Henri Vever c. 1900.

Both Lalique and Vever were awarded a Grand Prix at the Paris 1900 Exposition Universelle and just with them, the exhibition would already have been a breakthrough. While Lalique is a name recognised by everyone, Vever is known mostly amongst collectors and specialists. Henri Vever was third generation jeweller and took over a well established traditional jewellery business in 1881 together with his brother Paul. Only eight years later they were awarded a jewellery design Grand Prix together with Boucheron. The House of Vever became then a pioneer of Art Nouveau, but contrary to Lalique, they did from the establishment and designed wonderful naturalistic pieces for the setting of the most precious diamonds and coloured stones. Their jewellery revolution was less rebellious but their artistic merit was at the same level of their bohemian contemporaries. They made the setting of gems a new form of art. The house disappeared two generations later in 1982.