As a young man, Després became acquainted with avant-garde artists in Paris, including Modigliani, de Chirico, and Braque, and, after the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the industrial design of airplanes. He later transferred this experience and inspiration to his family’s jewelry business, where he became known for his innovative geometric patterns. He also created a wide range of tableware and decorative objects in gold, silver, and pewter, whose bold, industrial looks were uncompromisingly modern, yet always graceful and refined.
Many drawings and designs are reproduced here for the first time, and original photographs are complemented by a number of new photographs taken especially for the book. Després has always been the jeweler of choice for informed collectors and insiders: Josephine Baker was an early admirer, and Andy Warhol’s personal collection was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1988. This splendidly illustrated survey of his work will delight new admirers and connoisseurs alike. 234 color, 107 b&w illustrations.