Lot 82
  • 82


10,000 - 15,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Jewelled Cup
  • signed J. Descomps, 1904, also struck with French Minerva and maker's mark of Joe Descomps on the bowl, maker's mark of Jean-Baptiste François on the foot 
  • silver, silver-gilt, amethysts
  • height: 17.5cm., 6 7/8in.
  • 1904
the bowl chased with Satyrs and women playing love games, supported by three cranes, their heads supporting the bowl, their wings forming the stem and their claws forming the pointy circular base, set with amethysts and purple glass cabochons

Catalogue Note

Emmanuel Jules Joseph Descomps (1872-1948), known as ‘Joé’, and later as ‘Joseph Cormier’ is mainly known for his Art Nouveau sculptures of beautiful sensual women, and received his training with the celebrated sculptor Alexandre Falguières (1831-1900P). He was also a silversmith and produced some jewellery, such as gold pendant decorated with plique-à-jour enamel which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (M.40-1961). In 1883, Joé became a member of the French Society of Artists, and in 1898, he received an honourable mention for two small statues and three gold brooches: Insouciance, Le Sommeil and Enfant nénuphar. In 1908, he participated in an exhibition at the Museum Galliera entitled "Precious Head Ornaments". 
No further information has been found yet on the partnership of Joé Descomps and Jean-Baptiste François, but a silver beaker with glass cabochon, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, also bears both makers’ marks (1998.307).  The present cup was exhibited at the Salon des Artists in 1904 and described in the Review, L’Art Decoratif Revue Mensuelle, 1904, as follows:

'La superbe coupe en argent cerclée d’or, de M. Joé Descomps, comprend un fût éclairé d’améthystes sur lequel se dessinent trois cigognes aux ailes repliées, dont les têtes renversées soutiennent la coupe, dont les pattes viennent s’agriffer sur le cercle de la base semé d’éclats d’améthystes.  Au pourtour de la coupe se déroule une suite de scènes d’un paganisme folâtre, faunes et faunesses dansant, se poursuivant et s’enlaçant dans les jeux de l’amour, buvant, s’étreignant, se portant, ciselés finement dans l’argent pur.’