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Jean DESPRES (1889-1980)
TASTEVIN in hammered silver metal. Curved basin, handle in rolled snake signed
Height : 2,5 cm Length : 11,5 cm
Acquired from Jean DESPRES
Jean Després was born into a family of glass artisans. His grandfather Jean-Baptiste Desprès was a glassmaker in Bligny in the Aube, and his father Octave Desprès, was employed as a commercial traveler at the Glassworks of Souvigny at the time of his birth in 18891. The family moved to Avallon in 1890 to open a store selling trinkets and hardware at no. 27 rue de Paris, then at no. 20 place Vauban.
He went to school in Avallon, but he was not a very bright student. His passion was cycling and competitions. He obtained his elementary school diploma in 1905. Then his father placed him in apprenticeship with a friend goldsmith in Paris in the Marais district.
He completed his training by attending drawing classes in the schools of the city of Paris and also frequented Montmartre and the circle of young cubists, surrealists, futurists: Giorgio De Chirico, Marie Laurencin, Chaïm Soutine, Maurice Utrillo. At the Bateau-Lavoir he met Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who became his best friend.
During the First World War, he was classified as an auxiliary soldier in December 1914 because of a deformity of the left forearm, then he was recalled to active duty in January 1916 and had various assignments (Fifth Nursing Section, 113th Infantry Regiment, Fifth Section of Secretaries in 1916; Automobile Service Depot, Fifth Train Squadron in 1917), which finally led him to join military aviation formations at the end of the war. He moved to the Second Aviation Group in December 1917, then to the First Aviation Group in June 1918, as a meccano planner in the 4912 squadron. Després, in evoking this period, spoke of his experience as a mechanic draughtsman, which left a lasting impression on him and was to nourish all his work.
In the 1920s and 1930s, he took over his parents' store in Avallon and set up his own workshop where he created engine jewelry, whose pure forms inspired by aeronautical mechanics were part of the avant-garde trend. As an artisan of metal, gold, silver and pewter, Després shapes the material and invents new forms. Like his contemporaries Marcel Sandoz and Raymond Templier, he was one of the pioneers who renounced the codes of high jewelry and the use of precious stones. With the help of Paul Signac, he participated in his first Salon des indépendants in 1926. In 1929, he presented silver and pewter jewelry3.
Goldsmith by training, he also participates in the renewal of the forms of goldsmithing by ridding it of its classical ornaments, to create pieces with massive forms, in silver, in pewter, most often in silver plated metal, recognizable among all by their hammered aspect. He has many friends in the avant-garde of the time, such as Paul Jouve or Maurice de Vlaminck4.
In 1935, he was in charge of the gallery l'Art et la Mode, at no 39 rue du Colisée in Paris. In 1936, he married Simone Delattre, a painter and decorator of embroidered fabrics. He was rewarded by the Aero Club which awarded him a gold medal in 1937. His works began to be known abroad. The following year, he was named Knight of the Legion of Honor. He ran his gallery and kept his studio in Avallon. In 1940, he was president of the Syndicat des orfèvres, professional delegate for artistic protection at the Bureau International de la Bijouterie-orfèvrerie. He was rapporteur for goldsmiths on the awards commission of the Société d'encouragement à l'art et à l'industrie5.
In 1943, he moved to rue de La Trémoille in Paris, where he had a store at the same address. His friends included Pierre Vigoureux, Cavaillès, Worms, Peltier, Lalique, the Delaunays, Fernand Léger and many others. He counts Josephine Baker among his famous clients.
After the war, Jean Després exhibited several times, with the support of the State, in different foreign countries. In 1972, he offered the city of Avallon sixty-eight of his works.
He was a member of the Morvan Academy in 1968.
|Shipping Time||Ready to ship in 4-7 Business Days|
|Location||75007, PARIS, France|
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