Category Archives: Jewellery Design

Antoine Beaudouin’s Silver Art Nouveau Pendant: Modesty

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Modesty Antoine Beaudouin

The ‘tête de femme’ was a popular motif in France around 1900. These ladies – combined with flowers – often symbolised themes, such as Sleep, Dream, or Desire. This dreamy example is one of the prettiest Art Nouveau girls’ heads. The large silver and ruby pendant is called Modesty and is signed: Beaudouin, Paris (Antoine Beaudouin). The lady in this pendant has downcast eyes and is surrounded by violets (Viola Odorata); the stylized hair framing her face also determines the contours of the pendant. Violets stand for modesty as well as romantic love.

Other versions of the same design are known. For instance, a lovely gold brooch with an enamelled face and diamonds instead of cabochon cut rubies is in the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim (inv. no. KV 1404). It bears the maker’s marks of both Antoine Beaudouin (AB around a shield) and Georges Le Saché (LS around a thread). Le Saché was one of the most famous goldsmiths active around 1900, and also worked for Lucien Falize.

That the gold Phorzheim Modesty bears more than one maker’s mark is exceptional and suggests that Le Saché did not execute this brooch alone. Beaudouin not only must have designed Modesty, but also have had a hand in its execution. The silver Modesty pendant is one of Beaudouin’s few fully signed jewels. It has no maker’s mark, so we do not know whether Beaudouin crafted it, or if Le Saché made it for him.

Literature: Martijn Akkerman, ‘De “Modestie” broche, een belangrijk juweel van de Parijse Art Nouveau goudsmid-juwelier Antoine Beaudouin’, in: Antiek, 4, November 1986, pp. 210-215.

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Large Girandoles

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze

A Girandole (French, from the Italian girandola) is an ornamental branched candlestick composed of several lights. Girandoles came into use about the second half of the 17th century, and were made and used in pairs. A girandole has always been a luxurious lighting device, and in the 18th century, the period of great French decoration, the famous carvers designed some beautiful examples from gold, gilded silver or bronze or wood.

In jewelry, a girandole is a design, mostly earrings, in which three dangling pear-shaped ornaments are suspended from a central motif, often a bow. Girandole earrings were very popular in the 17th and 18th century, but even now still are.

Princess Isabella of Parma (daughter of Philip of Spain, Duke of Parma) wears the most magnificent 18th century diamond girandole earrings on this painting, which was done soon after her marriage to Joseph II in 1760, by Anton Raphael Mengs.

Revivals exist of all times, like this english 1790 harlequin girandole gold brooch set with foiled gems; two amethysts, three chrysolites, a topaz and a garnet or these two colored coral and gold Van Cleef & Arpels girandole ear clips from the 1970s.

This lovely pair of silver and paste is brand new.

Sheer Elegance in a Girandole Earring

This is more stylized example; a pair of diamond and platinum girandole earrings set with brilliant and baguette cut diamonds from the 1950s.

diamond and platinum earrings

A pair of 19th century garnet and gold girandole earrings form the South of France.

grenat de Perpignan earrings

A pair of girandole  earrings with five oval shaped coque de perle, a pearl-like stone that is cut from the Indian nautilus shell and is similar to a blister pearl.

Girandole style earrings with five oval shaped coque de perle, a pearl-like stone that is cut from the Indian nautilus shell and is similar to a blister pearl. (via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Timothy Horn makes the ultimate girandoles, even though you cannot wear them in your ears….. They refer back to their original decorative functions.

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze

Horn’s exhibition in the Young Museum in San Francisco showed Sweet Thing (2008), a bronze and nickel tree-like girandole sculpture with large pearls made of mirrored blown glass elements. Except for the fact that it measures 50 x 36 inches, Sweet Thing closely resembles a blown up 18th century girandole drop earring. As you can see, Horn is interested in the intersection between beauty and grotesque, perfection versus vulgarity and his work always has a strong connection to the decorative arts. Grand!

Titania (2009)

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze, cast lead crystal

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze, cast lead crystal

Titania II (2011)

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze

Petit Chou (2009)

T i m o t h y  H o r n  mirrored blown glass, nickel-plated bronze

These huge cast lead crystal, bronze, nickel plate Girandoles l and ll (Rain of Hot Stones) (1998) are so lovely even though Horn tried to change materials and reduce associated preciousness; Horn plays with the beautiful.

Good Dutch Art Nouveau Jewellery Is Hard To Find

Bert Nienhuis locket

Bert Nienhuis‘ designs are regarded as the most distinctive jewels of the Dutch equivalent of the international Art Nouveau movement; De Nieuwe Kunst, the movement that drastically ended the 19th century; historical styles and ecclecticism made way for natural forms and structures; flowers, plants and curved lines. Designs were harmonized with the natural environment.

Compared to the exhuberant international movement with its abundance of naturalistic flower, plant and animal motifs and decorative interplay of lines, the Dutch Art Nouveau variant was much more rational and restrained, in jewellery as well as in other applied arts and Architecture. Principles were the logical functional laws of construction and the individual qualities of each material used. Ornaments were only of secondary importance, often geometric and stilised.

Dutch Art Nouveau jewellery is rare.  This is one of these rare jewels; an 18 carat gold Dutch Art Nouveau locket pendant with 17 small rubies (16 x 0.01 en 1 x 0.04, app. 0.2 carats in total) and stilised green champleve enamel leaves, in the chain and the lock are little round plaques each decorated with four tiny dots of green enamel, designed by Bert Nienhuis and executed by Louis van Kooten, circa 1905-1911, Netherlands.

weight: 18.3 grams
diameter: 2.8 cm.

Bert Nienhuis attended the Amsterdam National School for Applied Arts until 1895 after which he was appointed as director of the earthenware factories “De Distel” and later “De Lotus”. Nienhuis also worked independently as ceramist. Only a short period he designed jewellery, from 1905 until 1911. He made approximately 27 different jewellery designs.

Characters of Nienhuis work are geometrical or organical ornamentation decorated with mat uni-colored enamels. He used gold and silver with modest use of gemstones. All the jewels were executed by L.W. van Kooten who worked for the Amsterdam jewellers, Hoeker & Sons, who showed a few of Nienhuis jewels in the International Exhibition in Brussels in 1910 where they won a gold and silver medal.

An identical locket is in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt which they bought in 1963 as a part of the collection of the Amsterdam jeweller, K.A. Citroen.

Literature: Jewellery 1820-1920, by R.J. Baarsen and G. van Berge, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 1990, pages 72-79, Van Cooten, Kroniek van een Ambachtelijk Geslacht, by Louk van Kooten, Enschede 1994, pages 79-96, cat. 61.4100/E on page 92, Kunsthandewerk um 1900 by Gerhardt Bot, Darmstadt 1965, page 128, cat. 148.

Doris Duke’s pierrot by Van Cleef & Arpels

This charming Pierrot brooch has a nice provenance, it comes  from Doris Duke’s personal jewelry collection.

It was made for Van Cleef & Arpels designed and patented by Maurice Duvalet in 1949. Duvalet worked both for Van Cleef & Arpels and John Rubel & Co. and was most famous for his ballerina brooches that he designed for both companies.

One of the masterpieces at the Rare Jewels and Objets d’Art: A Superb Collection at Christies NY in 2009 was the diamond ruby and emerald “ballerina” brooch. Several ballerina brooches had been designed in the late thirties by Maurice Duvalet for the New York branch of Van Cleef & Arpels. This particular brooch depicts Maria Camargo, a Spanish star ballet dancer from the 18th century, posed in arabesque. The use of emeralds and rubies resulted in a brilliant rendering of the flowers set on her costume as pictured by a French painting from Nicolas Lancret. Maurice Duvalet designed this particular piece in 1942 and used mainly rose-cut diamonds which are reputed to have originated from the Spanish Crown Jewels. This piece was manufactured by John Rubel & Co, the usual manufacturer for Van Cleef & Arpels New York. Estimated by Christie’s at $80,000 to $120,000, the brooch reached $350,000 (before commission). Also the Arpels had close ties with the ballet and were influenced by the great dancers and choreographers of the day. They even approached George Balanchine to produce a ballet entitled ‘Jewels’ where various countries were represented by different precious stones.

Duvalet’s,  more modest Pierrot, is in the same style. It is made from 18 carat gold, weighing 9.8 grams.  The brooch has graduated cultured pearl arms and legs that move, and a cabochon ruby head.  It measures approximately 2 inches tall, and is signed and numbered: Van Cleef & Arpels, 15838.

This pierrot brooch was originally owned by the tobacco heiress, Doris Duke  (1912 – 1993).  All Ms. Duke’s jewellery was sold by Christie’s auction house in 2004.  Per Doris Duke’s instructions in her will, all of her jewelry was temporarily on display at her home, Rough Point, in Newport, Rhode Island prior to the auction.  Her jewelry collection was overwhelming.  Duke’s 399 piece jewelry collection was catalogued in Gems From the East and the West, The Doris Duke  Jewelry Collection, by Janet Zapata, Ulysses Dietz and Zette Emmons in 2003. Page 102 of the catalogue shows our Pierrot brooch.

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Holy Insects

Egyptian Revival Scarab Pendant
This is a very rare large Egyptian Revival pendant made in England circa 1870. The 18-carat gold mounting is decorated with enamel with an Egyptian style color palette of red, white and blue. An ancient so-called heart scarab is embedded in the mount. This amulet (4.3 x 3.3 cm.) of turquoise glazed faience represents a scarab. It dates from the Ptolemaic or Roman period (1st BC – 1st AC).

The scarab symbol
This scarab is an authentic Egyptian artifact, brought back from Egypt. To the ancient Egyptians the scarab or dung beetle was the symbol of resurrection and eternal life. The fact that it uses its hind legs to roll a piece of dung backwards into its nest made Egyptians believe the insect had the same power as the god Ra. Why? Because Ra moved the sun in the same way. Since the sun keeps rising every day and eternally, the scarab is as holy as Ra.

Scarabs were often given to the deceased to ensure life after death. (Since the amulet is not inscribed with a prayer or a name, it is not likely that this scarab was buried with a person of importance. Its charm is no less strong because of that.) Originally this type of heart scarab was sewed to the breast of a mummy accompanied by two wings to assist the journey to the afterlife. On the back of this amulet there is even still a small trace of the mummy wrapping visible. The symbol of the scarab was used for many purposes including inscribing prayers, making official seals and commemorating special events. Some scarab amulets were also worn in daily life as a ‘regular’ protection against evil.

Great Egyptian discoveries and Revival
Many discoveries of great cultures have lead to a revival of interest in their art and jewellery. Among these have been Roman, Greek and Celtic revivals. The discovery of the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs and the objects with which they were buried and were presumed to take with them to the afterlife, have inspired many works of art.

Napoleon had already been greatly inspired by Egypt at the time of his Egyptian expeditions in 1798, as is reflected in early 19th-century French art and architecture in the form of Egyptian ornamentation, such as scarabs, sphinxes, winged lions and lotuses.

Napoleon was superstitious and supposedly wore a simple Egyptian scarab as a talisman on his finger. So as not to be lonely in the afterlife, the story goes that he also gave one to his mistress, Marie Walewska.

There were many Egyptian highlights in the mid-19th century. The Rosetta stone helped Jean Francois Champillon decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs – all traditional art and jewelry at that time was decorated with hieroglyphs. In 1859 the archeologist Auguste Mariette discovered Queen Ahhotep’s grave (from 1550 BC) and her jewels were shown at the 1862 World Exhibition in London, where they caught the attention of the Prince of Wales. Having just returned from a Grand Tour in Egypt, the Prince gave Princess Alexandra of Denmark a very special wedding gift in 1863: an Egyptian-style necklace set with scarabs made by the jeweler Robert Phillips.

It was not until after the discovery of Ahhotep’s tomb and the creation of the Suez Canal in 1867 that Egyptomania spread like wildfire throughout Europe. This pendant combines an ancient artifact with a modern (Victorian) setting, yielding an astonishing synthesis in the field of Egyptian art. Ancient traditions always seem to inspire contemporary developments.

Queen Amanishaketo’s bracelet
The technique used in this Revival pendant can be compared with that of one of the first spectacular Egyptian jewellery finds; the Nubian bracelet of Queen Amanishaketo at Meroe, Sudan (then South Egypt), discovered by Giuseppe Ferlini in 1834. In our pendant, as in other revivalist jewels, the colored glass inlays of ancient ones, have been replaced by enamel.

Autumn jewels

Tatty Devine‘s fallen leaves charm bracelet

JAR’s oak leaf and acorn earrings


Citrine 5os four leave cloaver brooch

Art Nouveau ivy bracelet by Emile Froment Meurice

JAR’s chestnut bracelet

Three 5os stylized chrysanthemum brooches

Lalique’s willow chestnut corsage ornament, circa 1904

Tatty Devine black English oak silhouette necklace



The ‘Moon of Baroda’ is a girl’s best friend

Kunsthandel Inez Stodel’s Fall Exhibition 24 September – 2 October

Kunsthandel Inez Stodel cordially invites you to our Fall Exhibition.

We will show our latest acquisitions and artworks by Philip Sajet for the occasion of OPEN! 2010 in the Spiegelkwartier in Amsterdam.

Opening hours:
24 September until 2 October : 11.00 – 17.00
On Saturday 25 September the artist, Philip Sajet, will be present
Monday 27 September closed

Philip Sajet

In 1977 – when the first snow fell – Philip Sajet first decided to make jewellery. Nine years later he had his first solo exhibition and now his work is shown at Kunsthandel Inez Stodel for Sajet’s 39th solo exhibition. At our special request Philip has made many of his most famous jewels, such as the Palette Necklace and the Harlequin Ring. Philip Sajet was born in 1953 in Amsterdam.

His father was Dutch, but his mother, whose father was a jeweller in Paris, came from France. A few years ago Sajet and his wife moved to the South of France, where they are both goldsmith. Sajet has his own vision of his craft “Jewels are small objects that you wear on the skin, cheer you up, adorn us and to show our necessary vanity”. In his clearly defined area of rings, necklaces and earrings Sajet shows us his groundbreaking designs. Sajet is honored that his work is shown in a jewellery loving environment for the first time.

We have chosen Philip Sajet because his jewels are works of art that show a lot of craftsmanship, love and humour. They are contemporary but go back to the basis of the art of jewellery. You will see large minerals, glass and pearls with a lot of colored enamel. The shape of diamonds often returns in different guises. For us there are many surprises, not only in Sajet’s view of his craft but also in how he gives this expression.

In 2011, the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn will stage a Sajet retrospective.

Moon of Baroda by Philip Sajet

The Moon of Baroda by Philip Sajet is an 18 carat gold ring, set with seven cabochon flints and a pear cut citrine of circa 24 carats. Sajet was inspired by the pear shaped canary yellow diamond from India with the same name.

Marilyn Monroe and the Moon of Baroda

The original Moon of Baroda of 24.04 carats was owned by the Maharajas of Baroda for 500 years before it was bought by Meyer Rosenbaum, director of Meyer Jewellery Company, in 1920. The diamond was borrowed to the most extraordinary Hollywood movie star of all times, Marilyn Monroe for her performance of Diamonds are a girl’s best friend in the legendary movie Gentlemen prefer blondes. In real life Marilyn did not own real diamonds.

Marilyn sings Diamonds are a girl’s best friend