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Paul Legrand

Paul Legrand 1840-1910, designer
His father worked under Louis Philippe’s reign as a designer and engraver for the major houses of Paris. As an apprentice at Marret and Jarry, then as an apprentice-designer at Calmus, he also followed courses given by the famous jewellery designer Julienne. He joined Boucheron in 1863, worked there until 1867, did a stint at Froment-Meurice followed by one at Baugrand, before finally returning permanently to Boucheron in 1871 where he remained until his retirement in 1892. His designs are very distinctive. He was primarily a colorist who was captivated by the effects of light; hence, he used transparent enamels and crystal glass, various patinas and gold. The art objects he designed and modeled in wax include a tea set of Etruscan style (1867), another of Persian style (1878), Japanese jewelry (1873), a steel vase inlaid with gold by Tissot (1878), the dragon vase of enamel and rock crystal carved by Varangoz (1889), the Episcopal Crozier (1884), and many carved pieces which are the fruit of his exotic inspirations and all the techniques he mastered, such as the Japanese Nightlight or the Japanese Child painting.
In the field of jewellery, his taste was more sober but his creations were nevertheless truly original. Besides conceiving the gold- faceted jewels executed by Menu, pieces of pierced silver on leather, as well as pearl and diamond bead necklaces, he also designed in the 1880s for the House of Boucheron clasps less necklaces known as “springs” or “question marks” which triumphed at the 1889 Universal Exhibition. These necklaces consisted of a fine circular and flexible branch, fitting delicately around the neck and holding a large motif such as acacia flower or lotus flower, ear of wheat or peacock feather. Like most of important pieces of jewellery from this period, these jewels have unfortunately disappeared and can only be evoked through old photographs.
   
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