1

An Art Nouveau ‘wasp’ pendant necklace, by René Lalique. Estimate: SFr.80,000-120,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

New York/Geneva/Paris – As announced at the end of July, Christie’s has been entrusted with the sale of masterworks from an important European private collection, Beyond Boundaries: Avant-Garde Masterworks from a European Collection which will be offered throughout the second half of 2017 in New York, Geneva and Paris. This ground-breaking collection was assembled by a couple with a keen eye for rare exceptional works of arts and design. Expected to achieve around $30,000,000 and comprising around 180 works from five categories: Impressionist and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Magnificent Jewels, African Art and Design.

What a surprise for me, after more than forty years, to see this jewellery I bought, then proposed to this couple who had the taste, courage and vision to keep the pieces together and preserve them, though it would have been simpler for them to purchase beautiful stones and have them custom-set, or buy pieces from the major Place Vendôme jewellers. For them though, it was an expression of their shared interests.”, Michel Perinet, owner of the former Galerie Michel Perinet, Paris

Each of the 110 Art Nouveau and Art Déco jewels is a treasure in itself and reflects the passion of a collector, who surprised his wife with beautiful jewels from the beginning of the 20th century.

Art Nouveau was a brief moment (1895-1910) but it had a lasting impact on jewellery and examples from this period are treasured for their originality and design excellence rather than their intrinsic value. It was a complete new style based on original ideas, innovative materials and entirely different principals. In reaction to increasingly machine-made, mass-produced jewellery, free-floating forms from the natural world were explored as never before. Great artist-jewellers like Georges Fouquet and Henri Vever chose semi- and even non-precious materials for their creations. The undisputed master of this genre was René Lalique, whose genius oeuvre embodied the very essence of French Art Nouveau. His use of exotic and often fragile materials, particularly moulded glass and enamel, was revolutionary, as was his choice of iconography. 

René Lalique (1860-1945) pushed the boundaries of his art in jewellery designs and his palette was much more diverse than of any painter or sculpture of this time and his work is a synthesis of all these arts. At first Lalique did not work under his own name and designed mostly for the major Parisian jewellery houses, such as Cartier and Boucheron, and finally in 1885 he started his own business. He then designed Sarah Bernhardt’s stage jewellery for the theatre, which gave him much acclaim. It must be remembered that, at that time, Art Nouveau was an innovative artistic movement reserved for the Parisian intelligentsia.

Whether it was magnificent creations for Mr. Calouste Gulbenkian or smaller jewellery pieces, all Lalique items could easily be worn since none were rigid, and they were almost invisibly supple. Lalique thought first and foremost of the person who was to wear his pieces – his creations are always soft against the skin, with the back as beautifully mastered as the front.

Beside the 45 pieces signed by Lalique the collector’s couple was also fascinated by jewels designed by Georges Fouquet (1862-1957). Georges joined his father’s business in 1891 and by 1900 he opened a new Boutique Fouquet at 6 rue Royale in Paris. For the interior design, he called on Alfons Mucha (1860-1939), Czech painter and decorative artist.

The collection contains several Art Nouveau jewellery pieces by Henri Vever, Eugène Feuillâtre, Léopold Gautrait, Vican, and Lucien Gaillard, beside the works of Fouquet and Lalique.  

2

2-1

Lot 1. An Art Nouveau opal and enamel ‘plum’ brooch, by René Lalique. Estimate CHF 90,000 - CHF 130,000 (USD 95,457 - USD 137,882)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Modelled as a naturalistic plum branch, the two plums set with geometric opal panels, to the textured gold stems and green enamel leaves, circa 1900, 11.0 cm, with French assay marks for gold, in René Lalique fitted case. Signed Lalique, with maker's mark for Lalique.

Provenance: Michel Perinet

Literature: Lalique, Lalique par Lalique, Edipop, Londres, 1976, p. 53

Note: Cf. S. Barten, René Lalique: Schmuck und Objets d’Art, 1890-1910,Munich, Prestal-Verlag, 1977, p. 167, ill. 4 for a diadem using the same technique for setting opals.

24 (2)

24-1

 Lot 24. An Art Nouveau moonstone, diamond, enamel and glass pendant, by René Lalique. Estimate CHF 45,000 - CHF 65,000 (USD 47,728 - USD 68,941). © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Centering a square-cut moonstone, between two opalescent glass carnations with enamel and diamond stems, suspending an oval cabochon moonstone, the chain with diamond accents, 1904-1905, pendant 6.5 cm, chain 22.5 cm, with French assay marks for platinum. Pendant signed Lalique, chain signed G. Fouquet.

Literature: S. Barten, René Lalique: Schmuck und Objets d’Art, 1890-1910, Munich, Prestal-Verlag, 1977, p. 347, ill. 753 for a photograph of this pendant.

36

36-1

36-2

Lot 36. An Art Nouveau enamel, chrysopase and pearl brooch, by René Lalique. Estimate CHF 80,000 - CHF 100,000 (USD 84,850 - USD 106,063)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Centering the profile of a woman's face in chrysoprase, her hair as peacock feathers, with two enamelled poppies on each side, suspending a baroque pearl, circa 1898-1899, 8.0 cm, with French assay mark for gold. Signed Lalique. The pearl has not been tested for natural origin.

Provenance: Michel Perinet

Literature: Cf. S. Barten, René Lalique: Schmuck und Objets d’Art, 1890-1910, Munich, Prestal-Verlag, 1977, p. 399, ill. 981 for a photograph of the reverse of this brooch

1

 

46-1

Lot 46. An Art Nouveau ‘wasp’ pendant necklace, by René Lalique. Estimate CHF 90,000 - CHF 130,000 (USD 95,457 - USD 137,882)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Depicting four enamelled wasps with diamond wings on a window enamel and opalescent glass hawthorn branch, suspending a baroque pearl, to the chain set with two enamelled leaves, 1899-1901, pendant 9.5 cm, necklace 51.0 cm, with French assay marks for gold. Signed Lalique. The pearl has not been tested for natural origin.

Provenance: Michel Perinet

Literature: S. Barten, René Lalique: Schmuck und Objets d’Art, 1890-1910, Munich, Prestal-Verlag, 1977, p. 320, ill. 642 for the drawing of this pendant

Note: Cf. S. Barten, René Lalique: Schmuck und Objets d’Art, 1890-1910, Munich, Prestal-Verlag, 1977, p. 478, ill. 1400 for the photograph of a jewel with the same wasp motif
Cf. Y. Brunhammer, René Lalique Bijoux d'exception 1890-1912, Paris, Skira, 2007, cover, for the photograph of a jewel with the same wasp motif.

The abstract compositions and essential geometry of Art Déco (1915-1935) jewellery were daring and liberated, accompanied by vibrant chromatic contrasts and the innovative use of materials – coloured gemstones carved in the Indian style as flowers and leaves, or calibré cut in exotic shapes. Jewellers united East and West and formed with colour a synthesis of pure art and lasting luxury. Abstract, industrial shapes became increasingly massive and almost architectural in form as colour crept away from jewels to leave entirely white expanses of platinum, diamond and rock crystal or clean contrast of diamond and just one other colour. Sleek geometry gradually softened into more sculptural, three-dimensial shapes, rounded pleats, scrolls and spirals displayed the beginnings of volume and movements to complement the returning curves of femininity.

Raymond Templier and La Maison Templier spans over three generations. The founder, Charles Templier opened a jewellery shop in Paris in 1849. His son Paul succeeded him and the company flourished under his direction. Paul’s son Raymond joined after graduating from the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and he was the true artist of the family. Sketching at every moment, he would have filled his office floor by midday with sketches which would be evaluated in the afternoon.  Raymond Templier’s talent was celebrated, earning him the title of the “architect of Jewellery” and many articles on him appeared in applied art journals.

Templier liked to juxtapose matte and glossy, black and white, full and empty, curve and straight lines. He said “Jewellery is above all about light and shadow, not just about glitter.”, as can be perfectly discovered in the above illustrated diamond and lacquer brooch made in 1929 (estimate: $45,000-65,000).

66

66-1

66-2

Lot 66. An Art Nouveau aquamarine, garnet and enamel ring, by Georges Fouquet. Estimate CHF 9,000 - CHF 13,000 (USD 9,546 - USD 13,788)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Set with a rectangular-cut aquamarine within a rectangular bombé panel of green and blue window enamel of stylised pine design, applied with six pear-shaped spessartite garnets, circa 1900, ring size 4 ¼, with French assay mark for gold, in Georges Fouquet case. Signed G. Fouquet, no. 11788, with maker's marks for Georges Fouquet.

Provenance: Michel Perinet

72

72-1

72-2

Lot 72. An Art Nouveau opal, diamond and enamel 'cedars' pendent necklace, by Georges Fouquet. Estimate CHF 120,000 - CHF 180,000 (USD 127,276 - USD 190,914)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Modelled as an openwork diamond-set cascade between opal panels, to the textured gold cedar surmount, suspending a baroque pearl, with cable-link chain, 1901, pendant 11.5 cm, chain 52.0 cm, mounted in gold, in Georges Fouquet fitted case. Signed G. Fouquet The pearl has not been tested for natural origin. 

Provenance: Michel Perinet

Literature: :Les Modes, 'La Mode et les Modes', Manzi, Joyant et Cie, 1902, p. 14
M.-N. de Gary, Les Fouquet Bijoutiers & Joailliers à Paris 1860-1960, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 1983, p. 83

72-3

Georges Fouquet, Study for the ‘Waterfall’ pendant, Paris, Les Arts Décoratifs, Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs © Paris, Les Arts Décoratifs

Note: Christie's Geneva, 27 May 1993, lot 291 for a similar pendant.

108

108-1

108-3

Lot 108. An emerald ring, by Georges Fouquet. Estimate CHF 18,000 - CHF 25,000 (USD 19,091 - USD 26,516)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Set with a cabochon emerald within a platinum mechanical surround, 1920s, ring size 6, with French assay mark for platinum
Signed Jean Fouquet, with maker's mark for Georges Fouquet

Accompanied by report no. 92640 dated 7 June 2017 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the origin of the emerald is Colombia, with moderate amount of oil.

81

81-1

81-2

Lot 81. An Art Déco multi-gem vanity case, by Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate CHF 45,000 - CHF 65,000 (USD 47,728 - USD 68,941)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Of Indian inspiration, the lid as a mother-of-pearl and coral inlay, within a black enamel scrolling surround, with jade and diamond accents, the black enamel back with red glass accents, the similarly designed sides applied with cabochon rubies and jade, opening to reveal a mirror, two compartments and a lipstick holder, 1927, 9.0x5.0x1.0 cm, with French maker's marks for gold. Signed Van Cleef & Arpels, with maker's mark for Strauss, Allard et Meyer, no. 28937 (case) and 7240 (lipstick holder). 

Provenance: Michel Perinet

Note: S. D. Coffin, Set in style The jewellery of Van Cleef & Arpels, Thames & Hudson, London, 2011, p. 157 for a photograph of a similar vanity case
The Spirit of beauty Van Cleef & Arpels, Xavier Barral Éditions, Paris, 2009, p. 204 for a photograph of a similar vanity case.

The sapphire’s octagonal-cut is sublime on lot 102 and the 1925 platinum work is characteristic of Templier, the metal is worked on multiple planes and forms waves, that give the piece a vibration, a rhythm (estimate: $25,000-35,000). The collection of Art Déco jewellery offers pieces signed by Jean Fouquet, son of Georges Fouquet, both innovative jewellers in Art Nouveau and Art Déco, as illustrated on the first page, a hexagonal onyx plaque pendant set with cabochon-cut emerald – representing the essence of Art Déco jewellery, made in 1925  (estimate: $90,000-130,000). The collection incorporates several works by Janesisch, founded in 1835 in Trieste, with a second and very active branch in Paris; clocks and watches by Cartier, jewels by Ostertag, a house which was only productive from 1920-1940; two rings by René Boivin and Paul Brandt, a Swiss jeweller who settled in Paris and who became famous for his extremely modernist geometric jewellery., as well as an extraordinary vanity case by Van Cleef & Arpels of Persian inspiration, which opens to reveal a mirror, two compartments and a lipstick holder, made in 1927 (estimate: $45,000-65,000).

102

102-1

Lot 102. An Art Déco sapphire ring, by Raymond TemplierEstimate CHF 25,000 - CHF 35,000 (USD 26,271 - USD 36,780)© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Set with an octagonal step-cut sapphire to the asymetrical reeded surround, circa 1925, ring size 5 ¼, with French assay marks for platinum. Signée Raymond Templier, with maker's mark for Templier

Accompanied by report no. 92639 dated 7 June 2017 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the origin of the sapphire is Ceylon (Sri Lanka), with no indications of heating.

3

Lot 110. An important emerald, onyx and diamond pendent necklace, by Georges Fouquet. Estimate CHF 90,000 - CHF 130,000 (USD 95,457 - USD 137,882).  © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The hexagonal onyx plaque pendant set with a cabochon emerald, with diamond-set corners and pendant hoop, to the diamond and enamel-set chain, 1925, pendant 6.8 cm, chain 66.0 cm, with French marks for platinum. Signed G. Fouquet, no. 19600, with maker's mark for Georges Fouquet. 

Accompanied by report no. 92642 dated 7 June 2017 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the origin of the emerald is Colombia, with moderate amount of oil. 

Provenance: Michel Perinet 

Literature: M.-N. de Gary, Les Fouquet, Bijoutiers & Joailliers à Paris 1860-1960, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 1983, p. 162, ill. 113 for a photograph of this jewel. 

Exhibited: Paris, International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, April - October 1925