The reward of patience

Vintage brooch in the shape of a bonsai made of nephrite & diamonds, around 1960

The forms of East Asian art have always had a strong influence on European artists. In the late 19th century, it was woodblock prints from Japan that arrived in Paris and had a lasting influence on van Gogh and the artists of Art Nouveau. A few years later, Art Deco artists again made use of forms and motifs from the Far East, now China, to make their designs appear modern and exotic at the same time. Buildings such as Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard from 1927 still bear witness to this today. In jewelry, Louis Cartier in particular sparked a lasting Asian fashion during the Art Deco period with pieces of carved jade and cut colored gemstones. Often, antique jewels from India provided the occasion, which were reworked in Paris to suit modern tastes. The love of stylizing forms originally borrowed from nature, which can often be observed in the art of East Asia, was obviously related to the taste of the time. The brooch presented here is a late testimony of this fashion. It is designed in the shape of a bonsai, with leaves of carved nephrite jade and a pot set with diamonds. Similar brooches had already been made by Ernst Paltscho in Vienna in the 1920s, and the British Museum has a fine example in its collection (inv. no. 1978,1002.1019). The leaves were probably cut in Idar-Oberstein, in a very similar technique to that used in the brooch here. The cuts of the diamonds date the brooch here to the period after WW2, the rest of the craftsmanship and the colorfulness of the brooch let us date it to the years around 1960. It is very well preserved.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.