Each designed as a spiralling sheet of gold suspended from a long hook surmount, circa 1968, signed Man Ray, maker's mark for Gem Montebello, numbered 3/12.
Note: Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, American surrealist artist Man Ray collaborated with the Italian jeweller GianCarlo Montebello to create seven jewellery designs. The Milanese native had created 'Gem Montebello' in 1967 and under this name collaborated with over 50 artists such as Pol Bury, Nikki de Saint Phalle and Lucio Fontana to mention but a few. With each artist he produced a limited series of jewels. With Man Ray, each of the seven designs they produced together were executed in editions of twelve (as can be seen with the numbering on this pair), although variations of this design do also exist. Many of the artists who created jewellery collections were inspired by works that they had created. In this instance, the 'Pendentif/Pendant' earrings are very much reminiscent of his design 'Lampshade 'abat jour' produced between 1919 and 1954. May Ray photographed Catherine Deneuve wearing this model of earring on a shoot in May 1968 for the front cover of the Sunday Times Magazine (rights to these images now with Centre Pompidou in France), there is one of Man Ray's Lampshades in the background of the photo. They have since become perhaps his most iconic jewel created in collaboration with Montebello. A pair of these earrings are currently in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts' collection.