Lucien Gaillard Haircomb

  • Lucien Gaillard

  • Hair comb
  • Horn and pearls
  • c. 1898
  • 8,5 cm wide
  • Perfect condition
  • € 7.500,-

Lucien Gaillard (1861 - 1942) was a French goldsmith, jeweller and jewellery designer. He
He came from a family of jewellers and was the son of goldsmith Ernest Gaillard, who in turn had taken over the business from his father, Amédée Gaillard.  From 1878, Lucien Gaillard became an apprentice in his father's business. From 1891 Lucien took over the company.  Initially Gaillard produced bottles, vases, small objects and parasol buds.

In 1900 Gaillard won the 'Grand Prix' at the World Exhibition. The way in which René Lalique presented his work also encouraged him to focus on jewellery making. Around 1878 Gaillard became more and more captivated by art and crafts from Japan.  From 1900 onwards he employed lacquerworkers, horn-cutters and metalworkers from Tokyo. He is mainly known for his Art Nouveau-style jewellery, mostly made of horn, precious metals and gemstones.  The decors are based on natural examples such as insects, flowers, plants and water. The influence of René Lalique is clearly visible in many of his jewels. Some are even almost literal translations of Lalique's gouache designs on paper.

This hair comb is made of horn and freshwater pearls with an image of lièrre or ivy leaf in which the pearls appear as berries. As an evergreen plant the ivy was already in ancient times the symbol of eternal life. But also of fidelity, attachment, patriotism and perseverance of desire. This is because the plant attaches itself tightly and firmly to a wall, tree or grave monument. And later in the early Christian period ivy leaves were depicted on sarcophagi and catacombs as a symbol of eternal attachment and eternal life. Though the body was dead, the soul lived on. A pious saying of Hohberg (1675) reads: 'The ivy winds itself high around an oak tree, no impetuous wind can tear it loose. If someone enjoys universal assistance, he soon rises up; no accident can harm him'.

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