AN IMPORTANT ART NOUVEAU PENDANT NECKLACE
The front section designed as three plique-à-jour enamel thistles with diamond borders and opal cluster centres, the bottom flowerhead articulated, to the articulated enamelled neckchain, circa 1903, 35.0 cm., in a fitted beige velvet case
Signed by Lucien Gaillard
Founded by Amedée Gaillard in 1840, this renowned firm of family jewellers first caught the imagination of the French jewellery conoscienti some thirty years on with their designs which paid tribute to the Japanese style and taste. It was Lucien's father Ernest (b. 1836) who was particularly responsible for this departure and he exhibited his work at the two International Exhibitions of 1878 and 1889. Such was the success of his innovative style that it earned him the Légion d'Honneur.
Representing the third generation of the family, Lucien (b. 1861) took over the business in 1892. While his own flair manifested itself in metalwork, a medium which had already brought him a gold medal at the second of those International Exhibitions, he also sought to develop the Oriental themes initiated by his father. With the bold step of hiring Japanese craftsmen direct from Tokyo, so the business expanded and moved premises in Paris to 107, rue de la Boetie.
Lucien Gaillard's exhibitions at the Paris salon in 1903 and 1904 are thought to represent the peak of his creative period and without a doubt he is today considered one of the leaders of the celebrated Art Nouveau movement in Paris.
Cf.: Dora J. Janson, From Slave to Siren, p. 72, plate 13
Christie's, Magnificent Jewels, November 19, 1980, lot 523