AN INGENIOUS EMERALD, SAPPHIRE, MOONSTONE AND GOLD FISH PENDANT NECKLACE, BY BOIVIN
Designed as an articulated sculpted 18K gold fish, its head set with circular-cut emeralds and sapphires, with cabochon moonstone eyes, opening to reveal a scent bottle, suspended by a gold wirework hoop from an 18K gold swedged oval link chain, with French hallmarks, circa 1970--24 ins. long
By René Boivin
Boivin's imaginative jewelry with representations of wildlife from land and sea are sculptural in their conception. Many are almost life-size such as the illustrated fish pendant of a small carp which functions as both a piece of jewelry and a scent bottle. This versatile jewel is a modern adaptation of the nineteenth century scent bottle that was suspended from a chatelaine or hung as a pendant around the neck. The head of the fish flips backwards to reveal a small hidden vial. When worn, the flexibility of the fish's body simulates swimming. The articulated body is reminiscent of similarly designed Chinese jewelry.
Designers at Boivin were masters at designing jewelry with devices that move. The gem-set rouleau on the ilustrated choker rotates to reveal either sapphires or emeralds. For an example of a chameleon with a body that revolves to disclose different colored gemstones, see Francoise Cailles, Ren/ae Boivin Jeweller, London, 1994, page 290. For an illustration of a fish pendant/scent bottle similar to the above, see page 354. (2)