ART DECO SILVER & ONYX PENDANT

by Jean Després (1889-1980)
France, circa 1929


3" long; 2" wide

Silver and onyx pendant in a cubist design with a triangle of black onyx above eight silver panels. Later transformed into a brooch.

Impressed for 950 silver/ inscribed J. Despres.

Jean Després was an Art Deco jewelry designer who captured the streamlined, modern aesthetic of the Machine Age and translated it into his graceful and refined designs. As a young man, Després moved to Paris where he studied design, apprenticed with a silversmith and spent his free time associating with avant-garde artists such as Léger, Modigliani, De Chirico and Braque, one of the founders of Cubism. After the outbreak of war in 1914, Després worked on the industrial design of airplanes which later influenced his jewelry designs. After the war, he began to design original avant-garde jewelry in silver because it was affordable and in fashion with the new taste for white metal. Després also created a range of tableware and decorative objects in gold, silver and pewter. He participated in many successful national and international exhibitions garnering many awards and much acclaim. Many fellow artists and writers were patrons of his work including Anatole France, Paul Signac, Francois Pompon, renowned critic Andre Malraux and, more recently, Andy Warhol who collected his jewelry and tableware.

Literature:
Melissa Gabardi, "Jean Després; Jeweler, Maker, and Designer of the Machine Age", Thames & Hudson, New York, 2009, p. 35 illus.

$35,000 - Inv. #1055