Design for a Haircomb with a Grasshopper and a Bundle of Flowers

Anonymous, French, 19th century French

Not on view

Drawing with a design for a haircomb, designed 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 four golden teeth, joined by two slightly arched horizontal tubes, X-shapes adorning the intersections between the comb teeth and the tubes, and with intersecting arches between them. Over the upper horizontal stube stands a light greenish-brown grassopper, in front of a large bundle of stylized flowers with four petals, colored with purple and white to suggest an iridescent, purplish-white surface, bordered with golden outlines executed with metallic paint, and with small, white round pearls as pistils, standing on green stems with long, green scrolling leaves. 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. On the verso of the paper, there is an incomplete sketch in graphite of another haircomb with four thick teeth, thin, long scrolling leaves, and rosettes.

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