Orfèvre Jouaillier, Metteur en Oeuvre, Brillans

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Engraving with designs for jewelry, which makes the seventh 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 seventh 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 seven different designs for jewelry, including a corset ornament, a brooch, two rings, two letter seals, and a hair ornament.

The first design consists of a corset ornament made up of interlacing ribbons decorated with garlands of flowers and leaves, and ribbon bows. The second design, for a brooch, is made up of a ribon rosette, hanging from two pieces of ribbon with thin garlands of flowers and leaves interlacing around them. The third design, for a hair ornament or brooch, consists of a bundle of thin branches with small leaves and flowers, held by a ribbon bow on the bottom. The fourth and fifth designs are for rings, one made up of a ribbon rosette, and the other of thin, horizontal branches with small leaves and stylized flowers. The last two designs are for paper seals, one with a garden trophy made up of gardening tools, a hat, and thin garlands of flowers and leaves, and the other with a war trophy with a bucket with arrows, an ax, and a helmet, and branches with leaves.

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