Graphite, pen and black ink, watercolor, and gouache on buff paper
Sheet: 9 3/4 × 6 5/16 in. (24.7 × 16 cm)
Album: 14 3/16 in. × 11 in. × 9/16 in. (36 × 28 × 1.5 cm)
Albums, Drawings, Ornament & Architecture
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1953
Not on view
Drawing with a design for a haircomb, possibly designed by French jeweller Jacques Caillot around 1900, part of an album of drawings by various artists for individual pieces of jewelry, containing a variety of designs in the Art Nouveau style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as some pieces in historic period styles. The haircomb in this drawing consists of a gray rectangular body with six teeth, containing two mounting swan figues, one of them white and the other black, standing with wings open on a pond. The neck of the white swan, above the black swan, is surrounded by an arch with black semi-abstract motifs and small, white pearls. This design reveals the aesthetic of late Art Nouveau jewelry style, designed, among others, by Rene Lalique, which drew inspiration from antiquity and japonism, abandoning the exclusive use traditional precious stones in the manufacture of jewels, and using, instead, a combination of gold, gemstones, semi-precious stones, mother-of-pearl, ivory and horn, enamel, and glass, to create colorful, powerful, and sinuous designs, often presenting animal and other figurative motifs.