Eugène Grasset (1845 - 1917)

Design for a Comb in the Form of a Hydrangea Flower Sold

Gouache, watercolour and gold over a pencil underdrawing, on light brown paper.
Numbered 1 on the verso.
217 x 147 mm. (8 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.) [image]
313 x 239 mm. (12 1/4 x 9 3/8 in.) [sheet]


This drawing (which includes a sketch of the comb in profile, drawn in pencil near the right edge of the paper) is a design for a ‘Hortensia’ comb made by the jeweller Henri Vever around 1900. The piece was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris that year but is now lost, and its appearance is known only through this drawing for it.

A stylistically similar drawing by Grasset for a different comb, in the form of a sea nymph, is in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. The comb itself, along with two other combs designed by Grasset for Vever, is today in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris at the Petit Palais in Paris; all three combs were presented to the museum by Henri Vever in 1925.

A similar depiction of hydrangeas is found in an earthenware and cloisonné enamel tile designed by Grasset for the ceramic factory of Emile Muller & Co. in Ivry in 1894.

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 20 March 1987, lot 231
Ralph Esmerian, New York.


Design for a Comb in the Form of a Hydrangea Flower


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