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  • Brooch
    Boucheron, Frédéric, born 1830 - died 1902 Paillet, Fernand, born 1850 - died 1918
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:


  • Artist/Maker:

    Boucheron, Frédéric, born 1830 - died 1902
    Paillet, Fernand, born 1850 - died 1918

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, painted ivory and faceted citrine.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pendant brooch combines the talents of two great French late 19th century artists. It was designed and made by the firm of Frédéric Boucheron, whose stamped signature appears on the reverse and is set with the image of a young woman crowned with poppies, painted on ivory and signed by Fernand Paillet.

Frédéric Boucheron (1830-1902) was described by Henri Vever, the French jeweller and author of the magisterial ‘French Jewellery of the 19th century’, as ‘without a doubt, one of the most distinguished members of our fraternity’. He was apprenticed to Jules Chaise but by the age of 23 had moved to the Palais-Royal in Paris to work in the shop of Tixier-Deschamps. In 1858, he raised the funds to open his own shop. The originality of his designs led to success and in 1867, he was rewarded with a gold medal at the Exposition. His business grew rapidly, not least due to the influx of rich American buyers such as Mary Louise Mackay who became one of the firm’s most frequent clients. In 1889, his triumph at the Paris Exposition gained him a Grand Prix and he was made Officier of the Légion d’Honneur and further success in 1900 saw his promotion to the rank of Commander. He was part of the group of jewellers, beginning with François-Regnault Nitot, who made the move from the Palais-Royal to the fashionable Place Vendôme and opened a magnificent shop, followed by further branches in Moscow (later moving to St Petersburg) and Marseilles. After his death in 1902, his son Louis took over the firm.

Fernand Paillet (1850-1918) was a French miniature painter who specialised in work on ivory, enamel and porcelain. He trained under the sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and set up his own studio in Paris, specialising in society portraits and from 1879-1888 he also worked at the Sėvres porcelain factory. The largest single group of his works is now in the New York Historical Society collection – between 1889 and 1903, he was commissioned by the New York socialite Peter Marié to paint portrait miniatures of the great American beauties. Paillet completed 100 of the 300 portraits commissioned. Paillet also collaborated with the watch maker Ferdinand Verger and with Frédéric Boucheron, creating small painted images to be set into jewels and watches. Designs by Paillet survive in the Boucheron archives – Gilles Neret’s 1988 publication on the firm shows a page of designs for miniatures including an oval image showing a young woman also crowned with poppies and holding a sheaf of wheat and poppies.

Physical description

Triangular gold brooch decorated with twists of foliage around the upper two corners and a central foliate motif on the top edge. There is a citrine pendant shaped as a long faceted drop hanging from the bottom of the pendant. A painted ivory panel of a young woman's head, crowned with poppies, is set in the centre of the brooch.

Place of Origin

France (made)




Boucheron, Frédéric, born 1830 - died 1902
Paillet, Fernand, born 1850 - died 1918

Materials and Techniques

Gold, painted ivory and faceted citrine.

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped on the reverse of the brooch

Eagle head gold mark for Paris (1847-1994)

Maker's mark LH separated by a cameo, in a lozenge shaped punch
Mark for Léopold Hubert (active 1875-1901).

F. Paillet
Signed on the miniature


Height: 7.8 cm, Width: 5.2 cm, Depth: 1.0 cm, Weight: 23.1 g

Descriptive line

Gold brooch by Frederic Boucheron set with painted miniature on ivory by Fernand Paillet. France, c. 1900

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Neret, Gilles Boucheron: Four generations of a world rewnowned jeweller; New York 1988
Vever, Henri French Jewellery of the 19th century; translated by Katherine Purcell, Thames and Hudson, 2001, pp. 868-947


Ivory; Gold; Citrine


Painting (image-making); Lapidary



Production Type



Metalwork Collection

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