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Model: S2219Label: Jean Painleve
Wow A stunning and unusual 1930s gilt and black bakelite galalith vintage cuff bracelet and matching pair of dress / fur clips. Consisting of heavy gilding with a truly stunning design - each picture panel features a back plate, a long shaped piece of black bakelite with detailed gold seahorse. So beautifully made, with tiny screws on the back for the pieces to be taken apart.
The cuff bracelet measures 1 1/4 inches at the front widest part and 3/4 inch at the back. The clips measure 1 1/4 inches wide by 1 3/4 inches long.
Traditionally these pieces are attributed to Jean Painleve, however these which appear to be the same are unusually signed Volex.
The interesting link here is that Volex are an electrical manufacturer. Traditionally (in the olden days!) they made the bakelite plastic light switches, so I suppose in this case they were commissioned to make the bakelite for the jewellery. I have never seen another piece of jewellery signed or made by Volex. What a unique set.
I do not know who commissioned Volex to make them, whether it was Jean Painleve or not, however these are remarkably similar, and it seems too much of a coincidence for it not to have been.
Jean Painleve was a photographer and filmmaker who specialised in underwater fauna. One of his most remembered works is L'Hippocampe (1934) and he made the seahorse jewellery to accompany the film.
I have not tried to clean any of the pieces however the gilt on the clips would polish up nicely with a soft cloth, they are slightly dusty. The cuff bracelet is a little dusty too and would benefit from a clean, it has some tiny scratches on the inside of the band, the outside is in better condition.
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