27 August 2017

Jean Vendome’s academician’s sword in the “Medusa” exhibition

A tribute to this French jeweler who died just a short time ago. On seeing the jeweler’s “5th Avenue” ring, the French intellectual, Roger Caillois, was struck by its lightness and the purity obtained by the play of negative space that for him inspired reverie, and thus he decided to entrust Vendome with the making of his sword*. As tradition would have it, the materials and designs used for the sword should symbolize the work of its future owner. Roger Caillois chose the moldavite from Czechoslovakia which recalls his wife’s country of origin. The five diamonds forming the Southern Cross evoke the Gallimard book collection of which he was the director, and the tourmaline from Brazil relates to the privileged links he shared with this country. There are other symbols besides, but this sword marks especially the beginning of a friendship between the two mineral enthusiasts, so much so that Roger Caillois, a collector, even devoted a collection of poems to these entitled The Writing of Stones.

* Conserved in the Musée des Confluences in Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

Most popular articles

An Anna Hu creation in the Gallery des Bijoux of the Musée des Arts décoratifs

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs continues to open up to contemporary jewelry: the Jewelry Gallery collection now features a creation by Taiwanese designer...

The nose ornaments in the exhibition "Machu Picchu and the treasures of Peru"

The nose ornaments in this exhibition are nothing short of sumptuous! Whether with pendants, crab-shaped, bimetal, rounded, hammered, these decorations...

When did jewels first become museum pieces?

Seeing jewelry in museums seems natural enough, but that wasn’t the case until the end of the 19th century!

Beware! French know-how in danger!

The Comité Colbert is sounding the alarm: certain typically French skills are in danger of disappearing in the next 10 years! The luxury industry has 80...

Upcycling in the exhibition "Cartier and the Arts of Islam

Cartier was not merely inspired by motifs from distant cultures: the jeweler’s new creations have also often incorporated elements from old jewelry or...

Christmas in Paris!

Place Vendôme and the Rue de la Paix, I’ve photographed the most beautiful displays, from Cartier and Tiffany&Co. to Chanel.