René Jules Lalique / Necklace / ca. 1900René Jules Lalique
ca. 1900

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Creator Name: Lalique, René
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1860-1945
Creator Name-CRT: René Jules Lalique
Title: Necklace
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1880
Creation End Date: 1920
Creation Date: ca. 1900
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Jewelry
Materials and Techniques: Gold, enamel, Australian opal, Siberian amethysts
Dimensions: Overall diam. 9-1/2 in. (24.1 cm) 9 large pendants: H. 2-3/4, W. 2-1/4 in. (7 x 5.7 cm) 9 small pendants: H. 1-3/8, W. 1-1/4 in. (3.5 x 3.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1985.114
Credit Line: Gift of Lillian Nassau, 1985

René-Jules Lalique was born in the Marne region of France. As a young student he showed great artistic promise and his mother guided him toward jewelry making. From 1876 to 1878 he apprenticed with Louis Aucoc, a noted Parisian jeweler. By the 1890s he had opened his own workshop in Paris and become one of the most admired jewelers of the day.

Lalique avoided using precious stones and the conservatively classical settings favored by other leading jewelers of the time. Rather, he combined semiprecious stones with such materials as enamel, horn, ivory, coral, rock crystal, and irregularly shaped Baroque pearls in settings of organic inspiration, frequently accentuated by asymmetrical curves or elaborate flourishes.

He designed this powerfully evocative necklace for his second wife, Augustine-Alice Ledru, around the turn of the century. The repeats of the main motif - an attenuated female nude whose highly stylized curling hair swirls around her head and whose arms sensuously curve down to become a border enclosing enamel-and-gold swans and an oval cabochon amethyst - are separated by pendants set with fire opals mounted in swirling gold tendrils.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1985.114
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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