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Paul Grandhomme and Jules Brateau
'ANDROMEDA', PLAQUE, 1900
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151
Paul Grandhomme and Jules Brateau
'ANDROMEDA', PLAQUE, 1900
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

1850–1950: Design Masterpieces from the Polo Collection

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Paul Grandhomme and Jules Brateau
'ANDROMEDA', PLAQUE, 1900
painted in opaque and transluscent enamels over gold, heightened with three-tone gilding, ivory frame with gold and variously-coloured metals; in a red silk-lined leather case
the enamel signed and dated Grandhomme 1900, the wood-backed easel-support frame signed J BRATEAU, the case stamped J. Brateau et P. Grandhomme
plaque: 19.5 x 16 cm. ( 7 ¾ x 6 ½ in.)
executed in France
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Literature

Jean-Christophe Boucoud, Jules Brateau 1844-1923, self published, 2003, p.172-173, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Paul Grandhomme was trained as an apprentice jeweller when the war with Prussia (1871) and consequent lack of work forced him to accept a position in a library. It is there that he read Claudius Popelin’s history of enamelling (see lot 23). Back in Paris in the jewellery business, he remained fascinated by enamelling and started to learn the techniques. His creations were, however, often rejected but he persisted and even took some lessons from the painter Puvis de Chavannes to refine his style. Finally, his work found an audience and he supplied Parisian jewellers, including Boucheron, with small enamel plaques to be set in refined pieces of jewellery. Paul Grandhomme was specifically inspired by the beauty of women and their curves. He also experimented with different metal backgrounds, such as copper or even sometimes gold, as with this lot, in order to play with the variety of colours which can be given to translucent enamels.

As business declined, he sold his workshop, tools and kiln in 1877. At that moment, the architect Edouard Corroyer, following the advice of Jules Brateau, commissioned an enamel plaque, entitled Musique, for which Grandhomme worked in partnership with his ex-pupil Alfred Garnier. The pair continued producing enamels together, once again meeting with great success. They were awarded the gold medal at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, and their production was qualified 'd'une grande valeur artistique et éxécutés avec une étonnante perfection.' (Exposition Universelle de Paris, 1889, Rapports du jury international, groupe III, p. 297). Grandhomme and Garnier were the last enamel painters to collaborate with Gustave Moreau.

Paul Grandhomme also often worked with Jules Brateau (1844-1923), a celebrated silversmith, metalworker and chaser, whose most famous legacy is probably his pewter production, bringing this misjudged metal back to fashion. The latter received a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1900 for his 'very finest work [showing] the loving care of the artistic crafstman' (The Paris Exhibition, The Art Journal, 1900, pp. 115-116.)

A magnificent gold and enamel jewel casket, entitled ‘le Secret’, was created by Grandhomme and Brateau, and presented to the Salon de la Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1897. It then belonged to Georges Berger, président de l’Union centrale des Arts décoratifs de 1891 à 1910, and is now in the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris (Inv. 17461).

1850–1950: Design Masterpieces from the Polo Collection

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London