Raymond Templier, France, Circa 1935
Modernist jeweler, Raymond Templier, is known for his geometric compositions, which drew inspiration from modern technology. Templier said, 'When I walk through the streets, I see ideas for jewelry everywhere - wheels, cars, the machines of today, I am ready to respond to all of them.' Born into a dynasty of Parisian jewelers - Maison Templier et Fils, founded by his grandfather in 1849 - Templier joined the family business in 1922 and began creating his unusual jewels. He regularly participated in international exhibitions and was involved in the contemporary art movement in Paris, where he was a founding member of the UAM, Union des Artistes Modernes. In 1935, he took over the management of the firm which remained open until 1965.
As an innovator of jewelry during the Art Deco period when geometric forms dominated the fine and decorative arts, Raymond Templier created designs that have become emblematic of their time. His mode, characterized by contrasts of matte and shiny surfaces and volumes and flat planes, was reflective of art rather than of traditional jewelry that emphasized important gemstones. Templier said, 'A piece of jewelry is above all dark and light and not just sparkle.' Although he utilized precious gemstones such as diamonds, it was in an imaginative manner that is evocative of an artist who paints with particular hues or a sculptor who fashions forms out of a variety of materials. Templier created jewelry that was about design, not about the materials.
The design of this bracelet is simple, yet its subtle complexity denotes the work of a master. Whereas bracelet bands are usually the same pattern from one end to the other, this bangle is created as a solid mass on one side of the clip brooch while the opposite side is divided in the center by a furrow. The diamond-set clip brooch can be removed from the bracelet and worn separately. This convertible bangle-bracelet with a clip brooch is among the first such conceived jewels that can function in a dual manner.
Only a few very gifted designers break with the past to create a new style. Raymond Templier is one such innovator whose jewelry transcends time. This bangle-bracelet and clip brooch is emblematic of the mid 1930s but its style resonates with jewelry connoisseurs today.
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