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Eugène Feuillâtre was renowned for the beauty and quality of his enamel work which he employed to decorate both jewellery and objet in the Art Nouveau style.
Born in Dunkirk, Northern France in 1870, Feuillâtre worked as an apprentice goldsmith before going on to study under enamellers Etienne Tourette and Louis Houillon. He was a gifted gold worker and sculptor however it was the art of enamelling that captured his imagination and he experimented widely with differing materials and techniques. From 1890 to 1897 he was head of René Lalique’s enamel workshop which produced some of the most iconic jewellery of the period in which enamel – in particular plique à jour – played a significant part.
He set up his own business in 1898 with a workshop at 3, rue de Villedo close to the Palais Royal in Paris’ 1st arrondissement. He created pieces for a number of different high end jewellers including the American firm Tiffany & Co. His work had come to the attention of Louis Comfort Tiffany – himself a great enthusiast of enamelling – during the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. Tiffany acquired several pieces of Feuillâtre’s work at this time and archival evidence illustrating a number of different enamelled boxes, vases and dishes would suggest that Feuillâtre supplied Tiffany & Co. with stock items for the firm to sell in New York. The pieces show both the Tiffany name and Feuillâtre’s mark and several examples are now held in the company’s collection.
Feuillâtre exhibited widely at a number of different Paris Salons as well as in Brussels and London, the latter in conjunction with Lalique and Fouquet. He became well known for his skill and technical experimentation with enamel and showcased a range of beautiful effects in his silver objet and gold jewels. Many of his pieces found their way into private collections and museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Musee dOrsay. Feuillâtre was enlisted in 1914 and died during the War in 1916.