Photo: les Arts Décoratifs
There is a place in Paris that jewellery history enthusiasts know well and that you absolutely must come and discover if you have not yet done so: the Galerie des Bijoux of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. It is in this place that the team of the museum and the Van Cleef and Arpels School of Jewellery Arts have invited us for the presentation of the book Flore, the first volume of a trilogy whose complete publication is scheduled for 2017.
Hairpin and its case, France, second half of the 18th century, silver, steel, chrysoberyls, gilded leather for the case, purchased from the goldsmiths Boin et Taburet, 1888. Photo: Jean Marie del Moral
The museum’s collection of more than 4,000 pieces is a formidable place of preservation for the history of the techniques of our craft. If the naturalist theme was chosen for this first book, it is because nature (trees, leaves, fruits or flowers) has always been a privileged source of inspiration for jewellers and designers. It is therefore only fair to see how craftsmen have been sublimating it for several centuries now.
Each piece, photographed in natural light by Jean-Marie del Moral, is accompanied by two texts. One by the writer Patrick Mauries and the other by the curator Évelyne Possémé, providing a more detailed context for the jewel and its theme.
Pair of earrings Giardinettifrance, mid-18th century, silver, gold, chrysoberyls, diamonds, emeralds, rubies. Bequest from Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild, 1901. Photo: Jean-Marie del Moral
The Van Cleef and Arpels School is a privileged partner of the publication of this book and, more broadly, of the museum, having been a patron of the Galerie des Bijoux for several years now. In this context, it supports the publication of works intended to promote the museum’s jewellery collection and heritage. Teaching videos co-produced by the two institutions are also accessible online (YouTube, the websites of the school and the museum). The book Flore is the logical continuation of this partnership.
Published by Editions des Arts Décoratifs, the 128-page book with 110 illustrations is priced at 19.90 euros, making it accessible to as many people as possible. I strongly encourage you to get it, it is a reference to have in a library dedicated to jewellery.
See you soon!