ART MODERNE ROCK CRYSTAL AND DIAMOND BANGLE BY JULIETTE MOUTARD FOR RENÉ BOIVIN, PARIS, 1934

A bangle of fluted rock crystal set with three lines of circular-, single-, and calibré-cut diamonds; mounted in platinum

  • 59 square diamonds
  • 98 round diamonds
  • Measurements: 2 7/8 × 1 1/4 × 1 7/8 inches

Additional cataloguing

Certification

  • Certificate of Authenticity from Françoise Cailles, dated October 10, 2016, stating the bracelet is René Boivin, 1934, from a design by Juliette Moutard.

 

Provenance

  • Kathleen Zervudachi Venizelos, wife of Sophoklis Venizelos, former Prime Minister of Greece

 

Biography

René Boivin founded his company in the 1890s. After his death in 1917, his wife, Jeanne Boivin—the sister of fashion designer Paul Poiret—presided over the firm. Assisted by her daughter Germaine and designers Suzanne Belperron and Juliette Moutard, Jeanne oversaw production of some of the most inspired jewelry of the twentieth century. The house is known for pieces with a strong, sculptural style as well as designs based on nature. After Jeanne’s death in 1959, Germaine Boivin and Juliette Moutard ran the company until it was sold in the 1970s.

 

Significance

Beginning in the first quarter of the twentieth century, the Art Deco movement swept the world and quickly transformed the arts, society, and fashion. Designers of the modernist aesthetic strived for originality, geometry, and bold use of color and form. Major jewelry houses began to fill their stores with innovative and fresh designs. Maison René Boivin, run by Jeanne Boivin, created a distinctive sculptural style.

The sister of the sensational and successful couturier Paul Poiret, Jeanne had close ties with the fashion elite in Paris, and her own ideas of jewelry design would become immeasurably influential. With the help of the talented designers she hired (all women), Boivin created jewels that were original and modern and quite different from her male counterparts. By the 1930s, with the influence of such designers as Suzanne Belperron and Juliette Moutard, Boivin’s innovative jewels became bold and sculptural with curved edges and large-scale size. Juliette Moutard worked for Boivin for her entire career and was a significant contributor to its success. She created jewels that melded together originality and femininity.

For this bracelet, Moutard created a highly sophisticated and wearable look using the unusual hardstone material rock crystal with platinum and diamonds. She created an all-white jewel highlighting the subtle play of light over polished metal, cut stones, and opaque hardstone. The curved band is carved with flutes enhancing the play of light and the feeling of movement. The variation of square versus cut stones is an important design move showing attention to detail. The sleek design and exquisite execution of this bracelet culminates into a modern work of art that is both fashionable and timeless.