Descomps, Joe

1872 - 1948

Emanuel Jules Joseph Descomps was a French sculptor and jeweller working in Paris during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  Known as Joë he is best remembered for his Art Nouveau figurines of women which were often modelled in bronze and ivory. 

He received his early training at Alexandre Falguières under H. Hiolin, an engraver and metal designer. He was a member of the French Society of Artists and in 1898 he received an honourable mention for two small statues and three gold brooches.   He was also an accomplished silversmith and jeweller creating pieces such as the beautiful gold and plique-à-jour enamel Art Nouveau pendant which is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Depicting a female figure standing amongst trees, it is set with a peridot and decorated with white, yellow and brown diamonds.  

Two further pendants are illustrated in Henri Vever’s renowned tome French Jewellery of the 19th Century, a striking Druidess pendant in chased gold and enamel suspending a pearl and another set with a carved ivory plaque depicting a flute playing nymph.  His jewellery often depicted sculpted female forms within naturalistic floral and pastoral settings in keeping with the prevailing Art Nouveau style of the period.

In 1900 he moved premises from 399 Rues de Pyrénées to 37 Rue de Moulin-Vert and in 1908 participated in an exhibition at the Museum Galliera entitled “Precious Head Ornaments”.  Descomps passed away in 1948.