'OISEAU DE PARADIS' BROOCH, SCHLUMBERGER FOR TIFFANY & CO.
The oiseau has figured into Tiffany’s design vocabulary long throughout the firm’s history, beginning in the late 19th century and reaching a fanciful crescendo with the work of Jean Schlumberger. Known to be more preoccupied with design and color than function and practicality, Schlumberger embraced an eccentric, larger-than-life aesthetic. The bird form appeared in his jeweled menagerie as early as the late 1940s and was a recurring theme until the end of the 1970s. The ‘Oiseau de Paradis’ brooch offered here is an exceptional example of the artist’s predilection for fantastical fauna. In addition to artfully incorporating a variety of colored stones, the piece presents an intense kineticism: the swiveling head supports a flourish of curling plumage leading down to a bombé breast and straight-as-arrows tail feathers. As one of Schlumberger’s most dynamic and monumental brooches, it is a masterful marriage of bijou and objet.