René Lalique might be familiar to most of us for his beautiful glass work. However, as we’ve shown before, this artist designed jewelry to the same high standard.
I’ve visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts several times, and wandered in a sort of ecstatic trance through the Art Nouveau and Art Deco collection. But the museum offers so much that I can always count on finding a remarkable something I somehow overlooked or hadn't time to study previously.
This ca. 1897 Lalique necklace, one of numerous stunning gifts from Sydney and Frances Lewis,
is late 19th century (earlier than the collar linked to above). I think it’s a wonderful example of the work created during the Belle Époque.
Here again is the Art Nouveau emphasis on natural forms, with a rather sparing use of gemstones—emphasis on art and design, in other words, rather than sparkle. It may also owe something to ancient styles of jewelry I’ve seen in museums—it reminded me of necklaces found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
You can see a sharper image, and zoom in, here, on the museum website.
For more on Lalique, you might want to check out this past exhibition at the Corning Museum.
Necklace & description card photographed by me.
Botanical print of pomegranate from Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, 1885, Gera, Germany via Wikipedia.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it. Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.