The heyday of Art Nouveau
Delicate enamelled flower with diamond as brooch, Whiteside & Blank, USA circa 1900
The application of enamel on gold grounds has its origins in 16th century Limoges: this technique, also called painter's enamel or email en plein, can produce particularly flowing transitions and natural shading. In the Art Nouveau period, this technique experienced a renaissance, as it was particularly suitable for reproducing the fine colour gradations and delicate veining of floral motifs. An enchanting example of this technique of transzucid enamel on gold is the flower shown here. Its leaves are an iridescent shade of green that fades to a luminous pink towards the edges. The shimmering through of the gold gives the colours a metallic sheen, and delicate engravings under the enamelling give the leaves a beautiful structure. Starting from the centre of the flower, where a diamond replicates the pistil, the finely engraved veins extend outwards. A concealed hook makes it possible to wear the brooch as a pendant or to hang an additional pendant such as a small pocket watch in the brooch. Nature was not the only inspiration for Art Nouveau artists on the European continent: in the USA, where this piece of jewellery was created, there was a particular fondness for enamelled flowers. This piece was created by the company Whiteside & Blank from Newark in New Jersey. One of the two founders of the firm, Henry Blank, traveled to Europe on business in 1912 to meet with clockwork manufacturers in Switzerland and gemstone dealers in Amsterdam. He booked the return trip in first class on the RMS Titanic - whose sinking he survived against all odds.
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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.