Gold locket decorated with cloisonné enamel made by Alexis Falize

Paris, France, about 1869

In the Japanese style

The arts of Japan and China proved to have an outstanding impact on Europe from the 1850s. The lifting of trade restrictions with Japan in 1853-54 allowed vast quantities of antique bronzes, jades, porcelain, prints and metalwork to flood into Europe. The displays of Japanese art at the 1862 International Exhibition in London stimulated particular interest in the various metalworking techniques, including cloisonné enamel. This technique had originated in China but was also in use in Japan. Its revival in France began in Paris in the 1860s, used by such large-scale metalwork firms as Barbédienne and Christofle.

The Falize firm used the same technique, but on a much smaller scale, for their jewellery. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, holds a sequence of a design and three models showing the different stages in the technique of cloisonné enamelling, presented by Alexis Falize (1811-98) in 1869. Japanese prints were the main source of motifs used by the Falize firm, among them Hokusai's Manga, a pictorial encyclopaedia of every aspect of Japanese life.

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Gold locket decorated with cloisonné enamel made by Alexis Falize

Closed locket

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    Open locket

 

More information

Bibliography

A.K. Snowman (ed.), The master jewellers (London, Thames and Hudson, 1990)

C. Gere and others, The art of the jeweller: a cat, 2 vols. (, 1984)

K. Purcell, Falize: A dynasty of jewelers (London, Thames and Hudson, 1999)

Dimensions

Height: 5.400 cm

Museum number

M&ME Hull Grundy Catalogue 1053

MCT4809

Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy

Location

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