Emile Olive (1852-1902), An Impressive Belle Epoque Brooch Pendant, France, c. 1895. Gold, silver, plique-à-jour enamel, emerald, diamond & pearl. H 9.00 cm (3.54 in); W 5.20 cm (2.05 in) © Tadema Gallery.
Emile Olive succeeded Georges Le Saché as designer for Lucien Falize. He left Falize in 1885 to form a partnership with Georges Fonsèque in Paris. After Olive’s death in 1902 Fonseque continued the business for a further twenty years.
This pendant is an exceptional example of the fusion of Japonisme and Art Nouveau in France. The background in plique-à-jour enamel represents a lily pond in the Japanese cloisonné manner on which a magnificent blister pearl set in gold appears to float. The fine diamond-studded frame surround shows the elegant and characteristic swirls of the French Art Nouveau style.
Literature: cf. Henri Vever's La Bijouterie Française au XIXe Siècle, translated by Katherine Purcell, p. 1021.
Dictionnaire International du Bijou, Paris 1998, p. 228.