REVIEW – New Paris exhibition focuses on Art Deco mastery of Lacloche
By David Brough
PARIS, October 2019 – A new exhibition in Paris showcases for the first time exquisite jewellery and objects by Lacloche Frères, highlighting superb pieces from their most creative period during the 1920s.
The reputation of Lacloche Frères was built upon their extraordinary items during the 1920s when they produced some of the finest jewellery, clocks and ladies’ accessories of the so-called Art Deco period.
Bracelet with diamonds, onyx and cabochon rubies, 1925. The first owner of this item of jewelry purchased it from Lacloche Frères during the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in October 1925. LA Private Collection. © 2019 Christie’s Images Limited
This Lacloche Frères bracelet, dated 1925, comprises diamonds, onyx and cabochon rubies.
In some of their work during the Art Deco period, Lacloche reflected a fascination at the time for Egyptian and Far Eastern culture.
“Egyptomania” followed the discovery of the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
As Egyptomania took hold, drop earrings, bracelets and brooches, were soon adorned with motifs of sphinxes, kneeling scribes and languorous pharaohs.
Drop earrings in rubies, emeralds, diamonds and platinum, circa 1925. Private Collection. Photo Tony Falcone.
These earrings, featuring rubies, emeralds and diamonds, set in platinum, and signed Lacloche Frères, date from around 1925.
During the Roaring Twenties, the decorative arts and the world of adornment became increasingly infatuated with the Far East.
Lacloche vanity cases featured enamelled decorative motifs evocative of Chinese lacquerware.
There are several conditions for its use: smaller than A5 size, and with the exact credit (this is really important) Loelia Ponsonby, duchess of Westminster, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1931. © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s
Lacloche Frères, based at 15 Rue de la Paix in Paris’s high jewellery district, created jewellery for royal and aristocratic figures, including Loelia Ponsonby, Duchess of Westminster, here seen photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1931.
Other clients included Queen Victoria of Spain, Britain’s King Edward VII, the kings of Greece and Siam, and Hollywood stars like Grace Kelly.
The exhibition, entitled “Lacloche Jewelers, 1892-1967”, takes place at L’Ecole des Arts Joalliers, 31 Rue Danielle Casanova, near the Place Vendome high jewellery district, and runs until December 20.
Admission is free, from Monday to Saturday, noon to 7 pm.