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Brooch-pendant

This exquisite Art Nouveau jewel can be worn as either a pendant or a brooch. It features the profile of a woman wearing a peacock headdress with sapphire ‘eyes’ in the tail feathers, which were fashionable decorative motifs around 1900. When held up to the light, the enamels appear as translucent windows stretched between the gold outlines of the design. This delicate enamelling technique, described as ‘à jour’ or ‘plique-à-jour’ was known to Medieval and Renaissance goldsmiths, and underwent a revival in late 19th-century jewellery. The maker, identified as Lucien or Léopold Gautrait, is known to have worked for the leading jewellery firms of Henri Vever and Léon Gariod in Paris.