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CHARLES BOUTET DE MONVEL 1855-1913
Art Nouveau Ring 'Bat Maiden'
Gold Opal Diamond
H: 3 cm (1.18 in)  W: 1 cm (0.39 in)
Marks: The shank with indistinct maker's mark & French eagle
Fitted case, the silk marked:
'I. Lautier, Joaillier - Orfevre, Toulouse'
Literature: cf. Jugendstil Schmuck, Der Bestand im Hessischen Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Wolgang Gluber, 2011, p.296 cat. no 146.
The Paris Salons1895-1914, Jewellery, Alastair Duncan 1994, p. 94-107
A superb and iconic art nouveau portrayal of a Parisian goddess of the Demi-Monde. She has style roots going back to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The very revealing décolleté, flowing hair, bat wings and diamond Aurora head dress suggestively alludes to pagan pleasures and entertainments of the night, the practitioners only heading home with the dawn.
Alexandre Dumas's book Le Demi-Monde brought the name into common parlance and was used later to describe the night loving pleasure seekers typified later by the likes of Toulouse Lautrec.