Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Edmond Lhote (1860-1915) is one of the more obscure French art nouveau jewellers from the turn of the last century. Very little is known about him, save that occasionally odd pieces of his work have come to the market and been of outstanding quality in the classic art nouveau style of Lalique. His work was exhibited in the Salon 1904 and, in the same year, the Societe des Artistes Decorateurs . Today his work forms part of the Collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago. I believe Edmond may be related to the more famous Andre Lhote (1885-1962), the cubist artist and research is ongoing.
This small box is an outstanding, delightful and whimsical example of Lhote’s work. The box is a lovely soft silver gilt with silver “mouse” (with a rather long tail perhaps suggestive of something a little less cute), eating three river pearl flowers. The lid further enhanced with repousse and chased leaf and branch design holding the pearl flowers. The Japanese influence is very visible and in Japanese, as well as Chinese tradition, the rat is revered as a symbol of good fortune and plenty. Condition is excellent and original.
The provenance of this box is impeccable. It was acquired directly from auction where a collection of Edmond Lhote’s work was being sold by his descendants. The lid and body of the box carry French assay marks (barely legible) and the body carries Lhote’s maker’s mark (also pretty obscured).
Price range: Sold
Maker: Edmond Lhote
Designer: Edmond Lhote
Date: c. 1900
Marks: EL, French assay marks
Material: Sterling silver, river pearls
Size: Diameter 5.5 cm, height 3.75cm (all max)
Weight: 64 grams, 2.3oz