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Designed and made by Fannière Frères, Paris, 1839 - 1900

Made in Paris, France, Europe

c. 1867

Gold, oxidized silver, tortoiseshell, translucent enamel

1 15/16 x 2 9/16 inches (4.9 x 6.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 156, European Art 1850-1900, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1978

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Additional information:
  • PublicationStyles, 1850-1900

    Mythological themes inspired by French and Italian Renaissance models appear frequently in the silverwork and jewelry designed by François-Auguste Fannière (1819 - 1900) and chased by his brother François-Joseph-Louis Fannière (1820 - 1897). An image of the Nereid Amphitrite, bride of Poseidon, appears in the central medallion of this bracelet; the richly decorated and complex figures and ornaments that surround it--putti, hippocamps, and foliage in repoussé silver on enameled gold--extend the bracelet's marine and mythological theme. The combination of different materials--enamel work with gold, silver, and shell--in a rich polychromatic style was itself inspired by goldwork of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a revival of Renaissance techniques that reached its height in Paris at the 1867 Exposition Universelle. It was at this exposition that the Fannières won a gold medal and praise for their craftsmanlike practice of both designing and executing their work without the aid of outside collaborators. Until 1862 the Fannières themselves had produced works as collaborators for the principal gold- and silversmiths of Paris, but that year, the brothers began to exhibit work under their own name, "tired," as one critic declared, "of making the reputation as well as the fortune of manufacturers who exploited them." The firm prospered immediately, receiving important commissions from the nobility and the French emperor, Napoleon III. Kathryn B. Hiesinger, from Guides to European Decorative Arts: Styles, 1850-1900 (1984), p. 14.

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