As his career progressed, Puiforcat became increasingly fascinated by the mathematical principles of geometry and proportion. By the 1930s he had replaced the stylized naturalism of his early work with geometric abstraction and bold simplicity. His pieces relied on their exquisite proportions and perfect finish for their effect. Decoration, when it appeared, was restricted to the addition of glass or semiprecious stones. This change reflected not only a shift in consumer taste but also Puiforcat’s decision to join the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) in 1930.
Inscription: Signed (bottom, stamped): JEAN E. PUIFORCAT
Marking: (bottom, stamped): MADE IN FRANCE / EP (within a lozenge divided by a spindle)
[Sonnabend Gallery, New York, until 1972; sold to MMA]
Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 2–April 28, 1985, no catalogue.
Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 22–August 11, 1985, unnum. brochure (front cover).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
René Herbst. Jean Puiforcat: Orfèvre, sculpteur. Paris, 1951, p. 38.
Penelope Hunter-Stiebel. "The Decorative Arts of the Twentieth Century." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 37 (Winter 1979–1980), pp. 36–37.
Françoise de Bonneville. Jean Puiforcat. Paris, 1986, p. 93.
Annelies Krekel-Aalberse, J.R. ter Molen, and Joost Willink, ed. Silver of a New Era: International Highlights of Precious Metalware from 1880 to 1940. Exh. cat., Museum Boymans-van Beuningen. Rotterdam, 1992, p. 69.
Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk, ed. Modern Art of Metalwork: Bröhan-Museum, State Museum of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism (1889–1939), Berlin. Berlin, 2001, p. 430.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 175, 261, no. 49, ill. (color, overall and detail).