Friday, November 28, 2008


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so it can be everywhere even in a domestic appliance like this silver boiler (kettle) made by the famous French jeweler Jean Emile Puiforcat in about 1933.

Jean E. Puiforcat (1897-1945) was born into a Parisian silversmithing family and became a leading designer in the field in France between the two World Wars. After commencing an apprenticeship in the family firm he studied sculpture under Louis Lejeune. He set up as a silversmith in 1922, working in the fashionable Art Deco style, and showed in Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann's Pavilion of a Rich Collector at the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels.

Committed more to the abstract forms and restraint of Modernism than the more decorative aesthetic of the applied arts in France he joined the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) established in 1929. He was interested in mathematics and worked with geometrically inspired forms. An entire pavilion was dedicated to his work at the 1937 Paris Exposition des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne. With the rise of Fascism in Europe he settled in Mexico, where he opened a silversmithy in 1942. In Mexico, Puiforcat produced new models inspired by Mexican motifs and incorporating more flamboyant decorative details, such as studs and scalloped bands.

This silver kettle is 20 cm. high and weighs 2800 gr. It was estimated between 8,000 and 12,000 Euros and reached 10,000 at an auction in Paris.

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