Christie's New York, 24 October 1996, lot 398
Raymond Templier (1891-1968) was one of the founding members of the French 'Union des Artistes Modernes' in 1929, which included a group of architects as well as three other jewellery designers: Jean Desprès, Jean Fouquet and Gérard Sandoz. Their creations were nearly devoid of ornament and almost exclusively dedicated to pure geometrical forms. Reflecting the 'Machine Aesthetic' that had initially captivated the painting world and artists such as Fernand Léger, an excerpt from a text written by Gérard Sandoz in 1929, published in 'La Renaissance de l'Art Francais et des Industries de Luxe' provides a concise explanation of the movement's goals: 'Le bijou, aujourd'hui directement inspiré de notre esthétique contemporaine doit etre simple, net, construit sans fioritures.' The jewellers became known as the 'bijoutier-artiste' instead of 'bijoutier-joaillier.'
From 1930 to 1936, Templier and his draftsman Marcel Percheron created as series of brooches of pure, streamlined geometrical form, including this present brooch, which resulted in an elegance that was sought after by the newly active, highly modern woman of the period.