Jean Després

Once upon a time I’ve seen some candlesticks.
Since I am not very much into candlesticks it was such a surprise for me not to forget them immediately! The image of the martelé metal and the gourmet chain was still coming in my mind obsessively day after day… then I start to make some research on them… it was about Jean Després!
Lucky to live a long life – born on 15th of June 1889, died 13th of November 1980 – Jean Després became famous and successful during his life (we all know not all the artists have this luck!), although it wasn’t easy from the beginning.

Jeweler and goldsmith, his artwork wasn’t limited only to jewelry, but to pieces of tableware, binders, liturgical objects too.

During his long life he had the opportunity to live the most important changes in the Art field: the 1920s – which were of course his starting period, followed by the 1930s – the most rich of originality and imagination.

During the WWII and the years after he started to use cheaper materials – like pewter, iron etc – because all the good materials were consumed for war purposes and the commerce of gold were forbidden by the Bank of France in 1940. Without losing his inspiration, in 1942 Jean Després was saying “I have launched the sport jewels in bronze. I don’t lose my hope to inaugurate one day an exhibition of white metal!”.

After the war he has continued his art work and his participation to the Art Fairs as he was used to do. A fighter spirit, he used to say he likes to compete, without fight you can’t get a good work of art, so he competed and gained a lot of prices which brought him international recognition.

Even his jewelry wasn't successful in some exhibitions in 1925-1928, he continued to exhibit until in 1929 at the "40th Salon of Independent Artists" is remarked - the people started to like his too modern jewelries.

He had closely
collaboratedwith Étienne Cournault and Jean Majodon.
When he died, at age 91, he expressed his wish that his workshop to be dismantled and in this way his artistic adventure to end in the same time with him.
Over time, we acquired, as much as it was possible, any item by Jean Després we found…and here they are few of them that I want to share with you today.

Jean Despres Bowl


Apollo Orfevrerie

We are glad to submit your attention a very rare sample of Art Deco Tea Coffee service made by Apollo Orfevrerie.


Apollo, Societe De Coutellerie et D'orfevrerie, was a french company of cutlery and orfevrerie, established in 1796, with the known address in 31 Rue Pastourelle, Paris.

They produced through many factories, the most known was the one in Saint Ouen. Awarded with gold medals at the 1914 Exhibition Lyon, 1915 San-Francisco, 1922 Marseille and Canada, 1923 Copenhague.
The company was mainly producing cutlery and flatware in white metal silver plated in several quality of plating, each being marked under the item by mentioning the silver quantity (in grams) used for the silver plating process. 

Very known also for their razors and shaver blades, advertised to last for 10 years! 

"Don't forget that when you'll be 60 years old, your beard would have been cost you 4368 Francs!" 😃

In the 1940s they start using stainless steel for their cutlery production, developing the side brand Apollonox.


Amalric Walter and his pâte de verre dancers

Even before the discoveries of Tanagra, a charming Greek figurine depicting a veiled dancer was frequently seen in the workshops, reproduced in plaster, terracotta, imitation of bronze, ivory or even in glass. It is undoubtedly the prettiest known variant of this beloved type of the ancients.
Amalric Walter too realized some women figurines inspired by this trend, as you may see below.

„For many years, this figurine symbolized the so-called "Tanagra" statuettes that enjoyed huge popularity throughout Europe in the late nineteenth century. It is, however, an earlier work, heralding the Tanagra style, but created by Athenian artists around 375-350 BCE. The dancing girl may be a bride or a nymph, and the figure probably had a religious significance, although her exact identity remains a mystery.
This figurine, named for its first owner (Auguste Titeux), was discovered in 1846 in one of the trenches dug at the foot of the Propylaea or entrance gateway on the north side of the Acropolis, not far from the grotto dedicated to Pan. It was nonetheless celebrated in the nineteenth century as a masterpiece of "Tanagra" sculpture - a type of figurine named for the central Greek settlement where many examples were found. The statuette was a source of inspiration for countless artists, who made copies in every size and medium, from bronze, earthenware and glass paste to watercolor. Modern analyses of the clay, and the stylistic similarity between this piece and a relief of nymphs in the Acropolis museum (no. 6064), tend to support the hypothesis that it was made in Attica - a theory already formulated in the nineteenth century. ”  (http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/titeux-dancer)
Walter Nancy Titeux Dancer
„The ample and fine drapery envelops the young woman almost entirely, leaving only the lower edge of a pleated tunic. The same light fabric also frames the face and front of the hair as a narrow hood, without hampering the attachment of the neck or the movement of the head, which bends to the side with modest and feminine grace. There is nothing of the provocative attitude of a professional dancer. The look lowered is all attentive to follow the action of the left foot, carried forward to draw the step. One sees under the stuff the model of the right arm, spreading a little the garment, so as to leave the movements more freedom, while the other arm, brought back on the hip, strives to maintain the flying mass of the folds, which from there escapes in undulating and cadenced waves. If in this lively attitude, of which all the parts respond and balance each other with a charming rhythm, the drapery point the juvenile forms which it pretends to cover, but without taking anything away from the decency of the poe or expression. ” (La danseuse voilée d'Auguste Titeux (pl. IV) by Léon Heuzey, Bulletin de correspondance hellénique  Année 1892  Volume 16  Numéro 1  pp. 73-87)

Amalric Walter (Sèvres 1870 – Lury-sur-Arnon 1959) graduated 'Ecole de Céramique de Sèvres, which for him is both the school and the laboratory. Here, like his predecessors Henry Cros and Albert Dammouse, he works finding the technique of pâte de verre. After tests and experiments with his professor and friend Gabriel Levy, Walter gets to the amalgam made up of finely ground glass powder, dyes, metal oxides, and the mysterious "binder", always kept secret by the teachers who found the famous recipe of glass paste.

Walter and Levy present a few pieces at the Exposition des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1903, models were provided by the sculptors Eugène Delagrange (1872-1920) and Denis Puech (1854-1942); even if the pasta is not yet perfect, nebulous and opaque, there is interest that comes, including an offer of Daum for a collaboration. Walter and Levy moved to Nancy, where Daum provides them with a well-equipped workshop. Lévy not it is settling, but for Walter it is the ideal environment to develop a special glass paste by soft tones, yellows and ochres, the orange and browns, greens and blues. Henry Berge provides models, he is the chief decorator and perfect interpreter of the conceptions of Antonin Daum. Between Walter and Bergé is established a friendship that will last a lifetime. Up to 1910 other projects are also provided by Charles Schneider (at the time collaborator of Daum).
At Daum’s he develops more than 100 models between 1904 and 1914, consisting of vases, cups, saw few, bookends, presse-papiers, inkwells, boxes, candy boxes, ashtrays and accessories for the women's clothing.

Among the first works produced there are the female figurines, adaptations of classical statue of ancient Greece, the famous Tanagra, of which the same Antonin Daum Nancy brings to the plaster models after returning from a trip to the Museum of Vienna.

Walter opens his atelier in 1919 in Nancy and continues the work he started at the Daum Freres manufature. Most of the models are provided by Henry Bergé, but healso works with sculptors as sculptors Jean Bernard, Jules Cayette, Jules Cheret, Marcel Corette, Joe Descomps, P. Dubery, Alfred Finot, Henri Mercier, André Houillon, P. Geno and Lejan.

Among the statues they are to remember the precious Buddha, the fauns, Isadora Duncan, dance and wrapped in voluptuous veils, busts and heads of fanculle. Walter also proceed to the realization of most of the models for Daum already performed before the war.

The evolution of color help to separate the two periods, after 1919 the colors are more strong, making almost surreal objects: a green bird, a black butterfly and a blue fish. Walter’s glass pastes have a particularly high weight, due to the percentage of lead used in the dough, which reaches about 50%.
With the war coming up in 1940, unfortunately every trace of Walter's work is lost.

During the entire period (1904-1914) of cooperation with Daum, the signature on the objects is that of Daum Nancy with the Cross of Lorraine and rarely there is also Walter; after the war the signature, engraved in the paste, is A WALTER NANCY, almost always followed by the name of the sculptor who provided the model.
(credits to Mr. Franco Borga http://www.artericerca.com/Vetro%20francese/Walter%20Amalric/Amalric%20Walter%20biografia.htm)


Gianni Versace and Venini

We are glad to present in our gallery the complete VVV Vintage collection, comprising seven beautiful vases: VVV, Smoking, Asimmetrico, Gessato, Grenadine, Marte and Frisage. These vases belong to the first editions of the VVV , not its partial reedition of 2010. Most of the items are accompanied by the Certificate of Origin issued by Venini, some of them still have their original boxes.
 VVV venini Versace
 Smoking Venini Versace
 Asimmetrico Venini Versace 
 Gessato Venini Versace
 Grenadine Venini Versace
 Marte Venini Versace
 Frisage Venini Versace

I guess everybody on Earth know who was Gianni Versace! He became a legend and legends are told from one generation to another. I am not gonna talk about his fashion today, but about a side of his artistic personality of which not everybody are aware -  Gianni Versace as glass designer.

As an art lover, Gianni Versace has collected art for a long time and his mansions in Miami or New York could be easily considered as museums! Being contemporary with such big artists as  Roy Lichtenstein or Jean-Michel Basquiat makes the Versace collections a true prove of living art history.

"Gianni Versace's home in New York is a sanctuary of sophistication," commented Elaine Whitmire, Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s New York in 2005. Following Sotheby's highly successful sale in 2001 of Mr. Versace's art and furnishings from his Miami home, Casa Casuarina, this sale will present collectors with a unique insight into his New York lifestyle and brilliant taste. He filled his magnificent Upper East Side, New York townhouse with Contemporary paintings juxtaposed by neoclassical European furniture. The impressive collection of beautiful Italian glass, some of which Mr. Versace designed himself, and 19th century paintings are further complemented by suites of contemporary upholstered furniture, many in Versace signature prints.

In addition to clothing, the designer expanded his brand into other directions. He launched his classic Signature fragrance line in 1991 and his line of furniture and home goods in 1993.

Versace developed strong relationships with a number of stars and supermodels, including Elton John, Madonna and Naomi Campbell. As Anna Wintour told The New York Times, Versace "was the first to realize the value of celebrity in the front row, and the value of the supermodel, and put fashion on an international media platform." (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/user/SEAN68/gianni-versace-1946-1997).

Versace’s friendship with Elton John started around 1984, when the two titans have finally met. Gianni Versace, who was passionate of rock, used some of the Elton John’s hits of the 70’s in his runaway shows. Elton John is a fervent buyer of the male Versace collections, he is often coming in the London Versace’s boutique, but one day he came to Milan where, by chance, Gianni Versace was in the store. They sympathized each other instantly and like this it started a long and beautiful friendship. Elton feels Gianni so close to Gianni as he starts being his guest for long time at his Villa Fontanella, and I must tell you that never ever Elton John has been nobody’s guest!

Lead by similar passions, the two are going shopping together, buying everything, clothes, furniture, even art or antiques. Gianni is taking Elton to Burano, at Olga’s, to buy antiques. Elton is taking Gianni one day to visit the Murano glass makers, Venini, Seguso and Barovier, Gianni is conquered by the art of glass blowing, so, few years later he signs a contract with Venini for his Home Collection.

The first vases made by Venini to Versace was V.V.V. Vintage Collection, which features a classic design, highlighted by the checkered black and white crystal mounted using Pezzati technique. Chromatic combinations are vibrant and exude the sophistication of Italian design. The white and black were also used in the striped pattern, with a touch of red that captures the attention of the eyes and graces the Smoking and the Gessato vases.
During Milan Design Week 2010, the Italian fashion house Versace announced a historic partnership with the Venini company.
The result can be seen on the shelves of the Versace Home boutiques: blown glass exclusive vases. Since its launch, the pieces have been sought by interior designers due to the wealth of craftsmanship, which expresses the Italian passion for art and design.

Donatella Versace said she is proud of this collaboration "... because recreated some historical vases that Gianni [Versace] designed." The items are produced in limited quantities and each numbered, reinforcing their extravagance.
Letitia Nica
Online Gallery Specialist


Edgar Henri Lelubre - Belgium Architect

Part of the group EGAU (Etudes en Groupe d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme), Edgar Henri Lelubre was an important belgium architect who activated in the development of the architecture and urbanism in the Liege region between 1950 and 1970.
Lelubre, Edgard Henri (Ghent, 1904 - Gent, 1970) studied painting and drawing at the Art Academy of Ghent. He was an architect and professor at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Ghent.
He got the title of Master Builder Academy of Ghent after winning the Great Price in 1928 of the competition organized for young architects.

As F.De Smet used to say "Un architect comprend des mieux la destination places d'une maison en se rendant compte de l'ameublement et des détails qui doivent les on compléter et les caractériser." – “An architect better understands a house places destination while thinking about furniture and all the details which must accomplish it and provide it its character”.
Edgar Lelubre has designed various items, such the sideboard we would like to introduce here for you.
Straight lines, realized in a mix of two precious wood essences: cherry and macassar to underline the clean design, this small sideboard could become a wonderful piece in your interior.
 Edgar Henri Lelubre Sideboard

There are very few information regarding this dedicated architect who had such big influence in the urbanism development of the Liege area, most of all related to the buildings who had projected.


Place A. Depoortere
This monument is a symbol of all members of the Guild of Saint Sebastian died for their country. The sculptor is Verbanck Geo (1881-1961) and the architect Edgar Lelubre.

Letitia Nica
Online Gallery Specialist


Jeannine Nathan

Large plaster sculpture by Jeannine Nathan figuring a standing man on squared terrace.
 Jeannine Nathan

Jeannine Nathan was born in 1924 in Algiers.
She moves together with her family to Paris in 1933, she returns to Algeria during World War II, and then she comes back in 1945. Around 1950 she is introduced by her mother to Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) to learn sculpture. Zadkine used to show his students’ works at young sculptors’ competitions, so Jeannine Nathan wins in 1953 the price André Susse at the Gallery Simone Badinier in Paris, for her sculpture named „the God Pan”.

In order to develop herself as an artist, in 1955 she moves up in her new atelier in Claude Matrat Street at Issy-les-Moulineaux. She exhibits her works every year at Salon des expositions de la Porte de Versailles and she gather like this a clientele of her own all over France and in the neighborhood.
She expressed herself as an artist in three fields:
Between 1955-1978 mostly as a ceramist, she got the silver in 1961as a ceramist-sculptor at Chambre des Métiers de Paris, she receives the silver prize in Tchecoslovaquie in 1962 and in 1962 she gets the gold medal as ceramist decorator.
Jeannine Nathan

Starting 1970 she dedicates herself to the art of jewelry and she creates silver and precious stones jewelries. She tried to Talosel technique, creating jewelry, frames or small mirrors.
She also made compositions of wire and welded pieces of iron or cigarette cases and boxes, adorned with crystals.

She never abandoned her first love – the Sculpture. In her workshop always hovered the fresh smell of wet clay and her hands were shaping with joy and love the earth characters, nudes expressing different aspects of her art and sensitivity.

Letitia Nica
Online Gallery Specialist