A rare authentic Art Nouveau locket with the highly collectible theme of Geisha.
The word Japonism (from the French word Japonisme) is the influence of Japanese aesthetics, art, fashion on Western culture. The term is used particularly to refer to Japanese influence on European art, most notably the Impressionist Movement. In France Japonisme referred to a style of French design found in the fine arts and it was a natural progression that this country's master silversmiths would be inspired by this exotic theme to create the most coveted objet d'art. The opening of Japan in the Meiji Restoration of the 1860s attracted curiosity from the West. Literally the opening of the country after a period of national isolation started a craze for collecting Japanese art - art encompassing - fashion, culture and design. Porcelain exported to France was wrapped in copies from a sketch book Hokusai Manga.
This locket is a such a rare find!
Even more intriguing, to date, none of the silver experts I have consulted have been able to identify the French silversmith who created this piece. The locket is fully hallmarked with the maker's mark and the crab mark too on the back and also on lid. I am not sure if this has ever been worn as the condition is remarkably good - it is superb. The vermeil interior is absolutely stunning and without any loss of gold and so I believe this has been kept as a collector's piece from its creation.
Such a thrill to have this in our collection!
The lid shows a giesha - her hair, facial expression and luxurious clothes finely executed. In her left hand she is holding up what look like cherries but they could be mistletoe as the sides and back have the most gorgeous Art Nouveau repoussage mistletoe. The locket has the original hanging ring in place and so it is ready to wear on your favourite necklace.
A very fine Art Nouveau locket in an unused condition.
This rare antique French locket measures 4.8 cm and weighs 22.7 grams.
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