Orfèvre Jouaillier, Metteur en Oeuvre, Brillans

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Engraving with designs for jewelry, which makes the fifth plate of the jewelry section of the "Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers" (Encyclopedia, or annotated dictionary of sciences, arts, and crafts), published in Paris by Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d'Alembert between 1751 and 1772. The Encyclopedia was published in 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates, and consists of thousands of articles, written by hundreds of contributors. It was one of the most important reference works for the arts and scientes, and one of the strongest tools in the propagation of the ideas of the French Enlightenment of the 18th century. Attempting to classify all domains of human activity, as well as the learning processes for such activities, the Encyclopedia became a work of enormous importance, and gave expression to many of the most important intellectual and social developments of its time.

This engraving is the fourth plate of the jewelry section of the tome on jewelry and metalsmithing of the Encyclopedia, titled "Recueil des plances sur les sciences, les arts libéraux et les arts méchaniques, avec leur explication: Orfèvrerie, Joaillerie" (Collection of plates on sciences, liberal arts, and mechanical arts, with their explanations: Metalsmithing, Jewelry), and contains five different designs for jewelry, including brooches, necklaces, and hair ornaments.

The first design consists of a brooch with the shappe of a ribbon bow, made up of thin garlands with flowrs and leaves, and thin, interlacing ribbons. The second design consists of a necklace made up of a horizontal garland with flowers and leaves, decorated by a ribbon that scrolls around it and forms a ribbon bow in the center; two festoons hang under this horizontal body of the necklace, meeting in the center under the ribbon bow, from which hangs a bundle of branches with small leaves and a large, stylized flower. The third design, for a haircomb, consists of an elongated haircomb with nine teeth, decorated by festoons of wheat ears and ribbon rosettes. The fourth design, for a bonnet ornament, is made up of thin garlands with flowers and leaves, with interlacing ribbons and two ribbon bows. The fifth design consists of a bracelet made up of a garland of leaves and flowers of different sizes and types.

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