PROPERTY OF A LADY
Post Lot Text
Raymond Templier (1891-1968) descended from a family of fine Parisian jewelers. His grandfather, Charles Templier, founded the house of Templier in Paris in 1849, and his father, Paul, continued to run the business. Raymond studied at the Ecole Superior des Arts Decoratifs from 1909-1912; exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1911; and went on to join his father's firm in 1919. Having been exposed during school to diverse artists, ideas and aesthetics, Raymond rejected traditional jewelry design.
Designing with a geometric style, Templier favored the smooth, cool surface of silver or platinum over gold, and used diamonds sparingly, only to accent the metal, rarely to cover it. Elements from cubist art and the imagery of the mechanical world are represented in Templier’s unique and innovative style. He was a founding member of the Union des Artistes Modernes, a movement made up of decorative artists and architects, who believed that design was paramount, materials secondary. According to the organization's manifesto, published in 1934, "A work only has true unity when one can take nothing away without drastic damage. It only has true order when one cannot displace a single part of it without weakening, without obscuring, without disturbing the whole. All ornament that is just ornament is excessive: get rid of it." (quoted from Sylvie Raulet, Art Deco Jewelry, p.173).
The illustrated matching bracelet, necklace, earrings, and brooch epitomize this credo in its overall design. In the bracelet, a diamond studded arching link joins the curling silver opposing plaques, with the uppermost portion folded like a pipeline wave and the bottom portion curling ever so slightly at the edge. Although designed formally as a bracelet, in its design and execution, this piece is truly a free-standing art form.
Highly collectible today, Templier’s designs appear in world famous public institutions including: the Les Arts Décoratifs, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.