Desbazeille Art Nouveau Gold and Diamond Cufflinks
Louis Desbazeille became partners with Monsieur Derouen, circa 1872. In 1877 Louis Desbazeille started his own business. He specialised in carved gems, cameos, intaglios and engraved garnets and gentlemens jewellery, such as cufflinks, lockets, swivel seals, rings and stickpins. His son, Germain, joined the firm, in 1881. Louis Desbazeille retired in 1886. La Maison G. Desbazeille, broadened the range, to include plique-à-jour jewellery with Arabic, Persian and Japanese themes, hair combs, bookmarks and hatpins. Germain used pierced cameos (à jour) in an attempt to boost their popularity. By 1889 cameos and intaglios had become less fashionable. Germain Desbazeille concentrated on marketing medal jewellery accented with applied patinas and enamels. Medal jewels, imitating ancient Greek and Roman medals and coins, was a branch of the Art Nouveau jewellery movement. Master medal engravers and those adept at the use of the tour à réduire were in high demand and received important commissions from the top jewellers. Desbazeille commissioned some of the most excellent examples, including the 'Cleopatra', 'The Four Seasons', 'Women with Flowers' and 'Saint George' medals by Émile-Séraphin Vernier (1852-1927). From 1895 the firm also kept Monsieur Roty occupied with the creation of religious and irreligious medals. Roty was an expert in the use of the tour à réduire - a machine, inspired by a lathe, designed in Russia, in the 1700s, to reduce designs and etch metals. Germain Desbazeille, whose maker's mark is a G, a star and a D in a lozenge, had premises at 6 rue Monsigny, Paris.
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