Lot 34
  • 34

Gold and enamel skull stick pin, in the manner of Gustave Trouvé and Cadet-Picard, 1870s

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • gold, enamel
The skull realistically modelled and decorated with cream and black enamel, the articulated jaw operated by a secondary pin joined by an enamelled bone link connecting chain, indistinct French assay and maker's marks, enamel imperfect.


Cf: Lot 15, 24th September 2015 Bonhams and Lot 106 16th December 2003 Sotheby's for similar examples of Skull stiuck pins by Gustave Trouvé.

Catalogue Note

Gustave Trouvé 1839-1902 was a French Electrical engineer and inventor who in 1865 established a workshop in Paris where he patented many devices utilising electricity. One such device was a carbon-zinc miniature battery, the Lilliputian sealed battery, which he used to power his miniature electric automata novelty jewels which he was to exhibit at the 1867 Paris World Fair. Made by Auguste Germain Cadet-Picard, the designs included such novelties as a drumming rabbit, a violin playing monkey and skull with moving jaw and rolling eyes. In 1879 an article in the French science journal “La Nature” remarked on these miniature electrical marvels which by 1891 had already become collector’s items due to limited production and the technical difficulties encountered. Although the current stick pin is not electrical its design bears a close resemblance to the pins produced by Cadet-Picard and exhibited at the 1867 Paris World Fair.