Napier, Design and Inspiration

1932 Cartier Jewelry Catalog Page

Cartier Jewelry

 

Although the designers at Napier were outstanding jewelers, silversmiths and artisans, they too, turned to other companies for design inspiration. This page was taken from a 1932 Cartier catalog that was part of The Napier Archive.As discussed in the book, many catalogs from other companies were used either to examine the marketplace and current trends, or for design inspiration. The Napier archives contained catalogs with examples from the finest joaillerie to competitors such as Coro, Trifari, and Whiting and Davis.

 

Jewelry of this style was referred to as “Court Jewelry” modeled after the exquisite jewels for the Monarchy. Napier surprisingly did design and manufacture extremely limited “Court Jewelry” pieces. An example of this type of jewelry can be found in chapter seven, Napier 1930s-1940s.

Other examples of designs from well-know jewelers, where possibly design inspiration was foster, are shown below with the Napier Rooster pin and the “Agreeable” Poodle pin.

Tiffany Poodle Pin Advertisement

Tiffany Poodle Pin Advertisement

The Napier "Agreeable" Poodle

The Napier “Agreeable” Poodle

Above left is a copy of Tiffany’s poodle pin. This advertisement was found in the Napier archives and had the initials of all the designers of that time. This practice has been surmised to be a way to document that each designer had viewed the material. To the above right is Napier’s famous “Agreeable” poodle.  This figural pin came in silver plate, gold plate and at least three known enamel colors, including black, white and grey.Below is an example of Tiffany’s rooster pin and to the right is the Napier counterpart.  Each jewelry company had its own design aesthetic and Napier in no way copied the design,  but rather possibly used resources such as Tiffany as inspiration for the design departments own creativity.

 

Tiffany Rooster Pin Advertisement

Tiffany Rooster Pin Advertisement

Napier Rooster Figural Pin

Napier Rooster Figural Pin

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