This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of Making Design. There are 3 other images of this object. See our image rights statement.


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Drawing, Design for a Corsage Ornament: Night, ca. 1900

This is a Drawing. It was designed by René Lalique. It is dated ca. 1900 and we acquired it in 1998. Its medium is brush and watercolor, graphite, brush and gouache on brownish, translucent wove paper, possibly coated with resin. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

René Lalique explored allegorical themes in his jewelry designs, influenced primarily by depictions of the natural world in Japanese design of the period. This design for a corsage ornament depicts an allegory of time. Two female nudes—both personifications of Night—toss diamond stars into an evening sky conveyed by sapphires and diamond stars. This drawing is the only visual record of a lost fantastical jewel that was first presented at the 1900 l’Exposition Universelle in Paris. Displayed beneath a decorative canopy of stars and bats, the jewel cemented Lalique’s reputation as a preeminent designer of jewelry in the Art Nouveau style. His designs frequently incorporated flowers, insects, animals and nude forms using sumptuous materials, including gold, silver, diamonds, and pearls. But, like his contemporary Fabergé, he also helped popularize humble gemstones and materials such as enamel, jasper, ivory, coral, and glass. Actress Sarah Bernhardt was among the most famous wearers of Lalique’s highly-coveted jewelry.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Design for Corsage Ornament.

This object was purchased from Barry Friedman Ltd.. It is credited Museum purchase from Drawings and Prints Council Fund through gift of The Florence Gould Foundation.

Its dimensions are

21.9 x 27.9 cm (8 5/8 x 11 in.)

It has the following markings

Watermark: B RIVES

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Corsage Ornament: Night, ca. 1900; Designed by René Lalique (French, 1860–1945); France; brush and watercolor, graphite, brush and gouache on brownish, translucent wove paper, possibly coated with resin; 21.9 x 27.9 cm (8 5/8 x 11 in.); 1998-50-1

In addition to Making Design, this object was previously on display as part of the exhibition Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730-2008.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Design for a Corsage Ornament: Night, ca. 1900 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 February 2016 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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