Thursday, 29 December 2011

An exceptional Art Nouveau pendant/brooch by FOUQUET

This piece epitomises Art Nouveau. It is a pendant/brooch signed by Fouquet which undoubtedly was created by George Fouquet, the son of Alphonse F., who took over the family jewellery business in 1895 and embraced the Art Nouveau artistic trend. He was a visionary and a pioneer and his genius still has an influence today. He is the one responsible for the term Bijouterie, referring to jewellery that was focused on design and beauty rather than as a mere display of fine stones; in other words he elevated crafts to the category of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a retrospective exhibition, described Fouquet's Art Nouveau period as the time when "for a brief glorious moment, extravagant beauty reigned supreme".

One has to think about the impact that a brooch like this must have had in the early 1900's and the contrast of its exotic organic shape in yellow gold set with dramatic coloured enamel and semiprecious stones like the centre turquoise and the drop white opal with the white Belle époque and Garland style jewellery of his contemporaries with flower and lace motifs set in white metal and diamonds only!

George Fouquet partnered with Alphonse Mucha, the artist who designed the interior of his new shop in Paris, a perfect magical frame for his pieces which was a work of art in itself.

The piece will be auctioned by Sotheby's NY on February 9th.