George Fouquet made this hair adornment between 1905 and 1908. The materials are clearly Art Nouveau, carved tortoiseshell, enamel and opals. The design, however hints towards the egyptian Art Deco trend that would come a few years after it was made. One of the things about jewellery in the beginning of the Twentieth Century that I find fascinating has to do with how it adapted to the revolutionary change in fashion brought by Paul Poiret first and shortly after by Coco Chanel; corsets and bustles disappeared and with them the heavy pectorals and corsage jewels, necklines were lowered and a whole new range of necklaces and pendants could then be shown and the hair style was shortened turning tiaras into much smaller and lighter hair combs. In general, jewellery became much more delicate and smaller.
The piece above will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on February 9th.