Designed as a triangular ivory plaque set with three cabochon turquoises, embellished with gold spheres and two square-shaped onyx accents, suspending a turquoise drop from an arched channel-set onyx section...
Designed as a triangular ivory plaque set with three cabochon turquoises, embellished with gold spheres and two square-shaped onyx accents, suspending a turquoise drop from an arched channel-set onyx section and singular circular-cut diamond, 1922-1923, signed G. Fouquet, numbered 18143, 8.5cm wide.
Note: Maison Fouquet (founded in 1862) is one of the few jewellery houses that managed the impossible feat of being a leading voice in two contrasting aesthetic movements: Art Nouveau and Art Deco. This was due in great part to the collaboration between two generations, that of Georges Fouquet and his son Jean, but in general it is hard to overstate the dynamic influence Georges Fouquet had on the landscape of French jewellery in this period. Not least as President of the jewellery category for the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in 1925, in this position he encouraged and motivated fellow jewellers to create lines expressly for the exhibition and stipulated that the selection for fair admission would be based on the jewels themselves and not who had made them - he had a vision for a great statement of pride in contemporary French modernity. This is the very exhibition that would go on to be referenced as the birthplace of the iconic 'Art Deco' style.
This brooch is a wonderful note of transition between the two movements. It has the fluidity and curving lines of the Art Nouveau sensibilities and yet there is a clear simplification of the elements in a move towards large abstract forms and the colours echo the fashion world's move towards a black and white palette with a contrasting colour which are all staples of the evolutions in Art Deco.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Les Fouquet, Bijoutiers & Joailliers à Paris 1860-1960, Flammarion 1983, P.98 for a photo of the brooch