Art Nouveau Peacock Eye Barrette by Piel Freres French c. 1900
I fell hard for this exceptional antique barrette made by Paris based jewelers Piel Frères. Founded in 1855 by Alexandre Piel, the firm specialized in using inexpensive materials combined with a very high quality of design and manufacture to created jewelry that looked expensive but was actually affordable. Their beautiful and affordable Art Nouveau designs won them a Grand Prize at the Universal Exposition of 1900 and another in 1906. This Art Nouveau piece features beautifully detailed metal birds with intertwined necks and is set with two very large peacock eyes. Piel Frères used storks and/or cranes in many of their designs, and this beauty showcases them in finely rendered detail.
Crafted in silver-plated copper, this very functional barrette is also very beautiful in the hair. The peacock eye glass ‘gems’ measure 21.5 mm across. This piece is 139 mm wide and 33 mm north to south at the widest point, it weighs 57.4 grams. This piece does not feature any hallmarks but we are confident that it was made in France, circa 1900 by the Paris jewelry firm of Piel Frères.
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