Epoque Fine Jewels

Art Nouveau pendant by Lluis Masriera, depicting a winged maiden with white enamel flowers in her hair, holding a white pearl, wearing a long green enamel dress with floral engraving and rose cut diamond highlights. Her wings decorated with white and pink ‘plique-à-jour’ enamel, on a beautifully crafted pavé-set rose cut diamond background framed by calibré-cut sapphires, mounted in 18 karat gold.
Barcelona, circa 1909
H 8.4 x W 4.7 cm
Signed Masriera Hermanos
Provenance: important private European collection

Lluis Masriera (Barcelona, 1872-1958) was a master jeweller who came from a line of silversmiths dating back to the early 19th century. His grandfather, Josep Masriera Vidal, had founded the Masriera jewelry house in 1840. Josep Masriera Vidal‘s two eldest sons, Francesc and Josep Masriera Manovens, continued the family tradition of combining savoir-faire in jewelry, precious metals and painting. They founded the jewelry house of Masriera Hermanos in 1886, while their younger brother Frederic, who was a sculptor, opened his own foundry, Masriera i Campins. The consecration of Masriera Hermanos came in 1888, when they were awarded a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona. Lluis Masriera Rosés, Josep’s son, was introduced to gemstone engraving by his father and to the techniques of creation by his uncle Francesc. A multi-faceted artist, he was a goldsmith and a painter, a writer and a set designer. He perfected his enamelling technique in Geneva, Paris and London before returning to Barcelona in 1900, where he was appointed artistic director of the family business. A year later, he revolutionised the style of Masriera, presenting his first pieces, strongly influenced by Art Nouveau, in the boutique founded by his grandfather. Inspired by the work of René Lalique, he succeeded in combining the naturalistic motifs and the representations of women with long flowing hair, dressed in the delicate drapery so characteristic of Art Nouveau, while adding his own personal touch. The stylistic strength of Lluis Masriera's creations allowed him to quickly establish himself as an important figure in the jewelry world. He embodied the modernism characteristic of Catalan jewelry of the time, which he then exported to the whole world.

This beautiful pendant is one of the most important pieces made by Masriera at the beginning of the 20th century.