Provenance: Dolores del Rio
Illustrated: “The Impossible Collection of Jewelry” by Vivienne Becker(Assouline, 2015)
Alfred Meyer (1832-1904) worked with many of the finest Parisian jewelers of his time, including Emile Froment-Meurice, Lucien Falize and Maison Vever. Meyer was instrumental in the revival of painted enamel technique in late 19th century France. He wrote and taught extensively on the subject of enameling.
Robert Adam Phillips and his brother Magnus Albert Phillips opened a retail jewellers prior to 1839, trading as Phillips Brothers at 31 Cockspur Street, London. Robert Phillips was a contemporary and acquaintance to both Fortunato Pio Castellani and Carlo Giuliano and became one of the most prominent and renowned manufacturing jewellers in London working predominantly in the revivalist style.
Hunt and Roskell in alliance with J. W. Benson 18k gold pomander / vinaigrette in the form of an apple, Marked: 307049 (British Registration mark), J.W.B. makers mark and British gold hallmarks original red leather box, c. 1897
The Tale of the Golden Apple
It was the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (the parents of Achilles) that the Goddess Elis threw a golden apple into the assembled crowd. Upon the surface of the fruit was etched “To The Faires”. Three goddesses laid claim upon the apple; Aphrodite, Hera and Athena. It was decided by Zeus, king of the Gods, that Paris of Troy should mediate the dispute. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida, the three presented themselves to Paris. It was decided that Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty, had the superior claim and that the golden apple belonged to her.
MAISON OSTERTAG (Place Vendome, Paris) 1920’s and 30’s
ARNOLD OSTERTAG (Jeweler / Designer)
VERGER FRERES (maker)
Art Deco jewel mounted mechanical covered box c. 1925
Of rectangular stepped form, the black enamel box hinged and accented at the top with a gold bezel mounted sugar loaf shaped coral; spring loaded to pull down and reveal a cinnabar red enamel interior, the exterior with gold champlevé set highly stylized geometric initials and further ornamented with geometric square cut out gold applied handles embellished with salmon coral beads and red enamel bands, all resting on a recessed agate base and conforming black onyx base punctuated with a gold bezel mounted sugar loaf shaped coral on each corner.
Marks: Ostertag (on a gold plaque inset into the underside of the onyx base)
H: 4″ x W: 3 1/2″ x D: 3 1/2″
Arnold Ostertag was a Swiss-born jeweler who became a dominant force in the creation of fine jewels and objects in Paris during the 1920s and 30s. After studying dentistry in Chicago, Ostertag embarked on a world tour and, while traveling through India, became fascinated by jewels. He later settled in Paris and opened a very successful salon on the Place Vendome. In design and quality, Ostertag’s jewels, which frequently featured Indian themes, rivaled the production of many of the most famous Parisian jewelry houses. In fact, the renowned clockmaker George Verger/Verger Freres, produced wonderful clocks and mechanical objects for Ostertag, as well as for many other world renowned jewelers and likely masterminded the mechanism of the Art Deco box above. In addition to making pieces for Ostertag, Maison Verger made pieces for Cartier, LaCloche, Marzo, Boucheron, Hermes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chaumet, Mauboussin, etc. Arnold Ostertag was popular on the international front and made many trips to America spending time in both New York, as well as Los Angeles where he befriended many Hollywood stars. He also received commissions during his trips to make exquisite custom jewelry and precious jeweled objects such as this fine Art Deco box.
BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE
Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and Andrew B. Kitchen opened their first store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia on September 20, 1832, known as Bailey & Kitchen, offering silverware, jewelry and assorted other articles. In 1878, Joseph T. Bailey II; George Banks, formerly of J.E. Caldwell & Co.; and Samuel Biddle formed a partnership. They renamed the company, Bailey, Banks & Biddle. In 1894, the company incorporated with Bailey as president. The firm has always maintained their main store on Chestnut Street, relocating to 1218, and in 1953, to their current address at 1530. In October 1986, Bailey, Banks & Biddle became a member of the Zale group and currently maintains forty-four branch stores throughout the United States.