Georges Fouquet

Georges Fouquet Brooch

1920s Georges Fouquet Brooch

Not many master jewelers can boast creating masterworks in two style periods. However, the brilliant French master craftsmen achieved the seemingly impossible, creating sublime works of jewelry art in both the Art Nouveau and the Art Deco Periods.

Hailing from one of the great French jewelry maisons, Fouquet, (1862-1957) is regarded as a master jeweler in the strictest sense, of two style periods. His father, Alphonse Fouquet, started the firm back in the 1800s, and Georges continued the firm until about 1930s. When the crash came, the family had the foresight to close house. And then his son, Jean, worked with him from about 1925 on and continued it.

Jean Fouquet, who had started on a literary career after completing classical studies, went into his father's business around 1919. Jean exhibited at the 1925 and 1937 exhibitions.

Jean preferred a more geometric approach than his father and belonged to the school of important designers who directly translated contemporary art in jewelry, building up designs from geometric shapes, making use of lacquer and enamels, like his father had, to achieve this.The renowned master workman of Art Nouveau jewelry, wasn't about to call it a day there. Fouquet went on to create, some of the finest Art Deco jewelry in the History of Jewelry.

The brilliance of Fouquet, is that he managed to fully adopt the new Art Deco style as it fast approached. Around the year 1922, sensing the changes, he moved with them, indeed he led them, beyond his earlier innovative ideas of floral and figurative decoration to produce, brooches, bracelets, belt clasps, pins and pendants, with extremely stylized abstract motifs.

Replacing precious gemstones in his gemstone jewelry with  gemstones like onyx, jade and coral, that were chosen for their strong opaque colors. He often combined texture and color with the translucency of topazes, aquamarines, crystal and amethysts.

See other examples of Fouquet jewelry HERE...

Fouquet varied colors and textures with the use of enamel and lacquer, often drawing on other contemporary artists for fresh ideas.

In 1925, he represented at the International Exposition, work by his leading craftsman, Louis Fertey, along with his own desgins and those of his son, Jean, plus jewels from designs by other artists such as poster artist Adolphe Mouron, known as Cassandre. He presided over the jewelry section in 1925 at the International Exposition.

In 1936, Georges Fouquet commissioned designs from the sculptor Lambert-Rucki.

Reference:
Becker, V., Antique and Twentieth Century Jewellery, N.A.G. Press,(2nd edition), 1980, London.

Roadshow Archives: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200403A36.html

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