French, 1875 - 1945
Tétard Frères, manufacturer (Paris)
Légumier (Covered vegetable dish with presentation underplate), c. 1925
Dish: H. 8 1/2 x W. 13 x D. 9 in.
Underplate: H. 2 1/2 x W. 24 x D. 15 in.
This pièce de résistance was featured in the French Silver Section of the Paris 1925 Exposition (Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes) from which Art Deco derives its name. It is the quintessential Art Deco work. Its strong sculptural form, immaculate surface and ivory accents epitomize the spirit and elegance, the very essence, of La Mode Parisian.
Because of its color, silver is sometimes described as a dry medium. To give it life without using surface ornamentation, silversmiths had to rely on an interplay of light, shadow and reflection created by contrasting planes and curves. To relieve the soberness of form and color, semiprecious stones, rare woods, ivory and horn were incorporated. Later, in the '30s, gilded sections and thin plates of gold soldered to or inlaid into the surface were added to the repertoire. These materials, when used with restraint so as not to overwhelm the balance and purity of the design, add warmth, richness and textural contrast.