Cf. Françoise Cailles, "René Boivin Joaillier", Les Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1994, page 267 for a drawing
The original design for this brooch was produced in 1938. However, according to the Boivin archives in Paris, it was not executed immediately. To their knowledge, the present brooch, which dates to the early years of this decade, was the only version created.
Typical of Boivin, it is sculptural and bold in conception, but more importantly it embodies the penchant for naturalism which has existed since the firm's inception. The founder, René Boivin (1864-1917), an ardent botanist, was particularly fond of orchids, leading the flower to be almost a talismanic theme in the house's design repertoire.
Certain periods in the history of jewellery design have demonstrated stronger leanings towards horticultural subjects than others. Throughout René Boivin's formative years, these themes were fashionable. Nevertheless, even when the penchant waned with the geometric jewels of the Art Deco period, the House of Boivin continued producing designs in this vein.
When Jeanne Boivin took over the company upon the death of her husband in 1919, she and the house's designers, her daughter, Germaine, and Juliette Moutard, demonstrated an ongoing fascination with the natural world. This manifested itself in such designs as that for the present brooch, as well as those for lilies, orchids and foxgloves - entre autres. When the vast majority of Parisian jewellers had shifted to platinum and diamonds, Boivin exhibited pieces in yellow gold, going against the grain.
One could argue that their production foreshadowed the widespread vogue for naturalism in the late 1930s which then persisted after World War II. In the footsteps of Boivin, this trend was brought to life by such talented designers as Fulco Verdura and Jean Schlumberger in the 40s and 50s, to be continued subsequently by David Webb and Seaman Schepps.