Born in 1889 in Souvigny, Burgundy, from glass blower parents, Jean Després starts his apprenticeship with a Parisian goldsmith, friend of the family, in 1905.
First an industrial drawer for the military aviation during World War I, he took over his parents’ shop in 1920 and launched his goldsmith and jeweler workshop. He revealed himself to be an innovative creator with a unique way to work metals, and with new drawn shapes never seen before. He participated to his first show in 1926 at the Salon des Indépendants. Many shows and exhibitions then followed, such as the Salon d’Automne, the Salon of Decorative artists, and the Tuileries Salon.
Jean Després chooses massive shapes rather than the classical goldsmith ornaments and avoids the use of precious gemstones in his jewel collection. His jewel production is defined by necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings where metals are combined with ivory, lacquer, ebony, onyx and sharkskin.
His goldsmith pieces are inspired by the aviation aesthetic, crafted using hammered metals, and ample, generous and modern shapes. In the 1940’s, Jean Després is nominated President of the Goldsmith Syndicate, after receiving the Legion d’Honneur, in 1938. The artist’s works will be collected in France and worldwide, even after his death in 1980.
Jean DESPRES Cutlery set -12 forks -12 spoons -12 knives -12 small knives - 4 service elements Hammered silver Silver with hallmark of the master goldsmith and hallmarked France, circa 1950
Jean DESPRES Silver bracelet Signed J. Després H 0,9 x L 7,1 inches H 2,3 x L 18,2 cm France, circa 1950
Jean DESPRES Silver and jade necklace H 22,4 x W 1,7 x D 1,7 inches H 57 x W 4,5 x D 4,5 cm Signed and stamped France, circa 1950
Jean DESPRES Cup Silver plated metal Signed and stamped H 2,7 x D 4,3 inches H 7 x D 11 cm France, circa 1960
Jean DESPRES Pair of candlesticks in silvered metal Signed H 12,2 x D 6,7 inches H 31 x D 17 cm France, 1950
Jean DESPRES Silver pendant Signature, Master's hallmark and silver hallmarkH 1,8 x W 1,0 inches H 4,6 x W 2,6 cm France, circa 1930
Jean DESPRES Silver and Onyx brooch Signature, Master's hallmark and silver hallmark H 2,1 x W 2,2 inches H 5,3 x W 5,5 cm France, circa 1930
Jean DESPRES Silver bracelet Signature, Master's hallmark and silver hallmarkH 1,1 x W 7,2 inches H 2,9 x W 18,3 cm France, circa 1940
Jean DESPRES Silver bracelet Signature, Master's hallmark and silver hallmarkH 0,9 x W 6,9 inches H 2,3 x W 17,5 cm France, circa 1940
Jean DESPRES Silver bracelet Master's hallmark and silver hallmark H 1,6 x W 7,4 inches H 4,0 x W 18,9 cmFrance, circa 1930
Jean DESPRES Silver bracelet Signature, Master's hallmark and silver hallmarkH 0,7 x W 7,3 inches H 1,9 x W 18,5 cm France, circa 1940
Jean DESPRES Pair of candlesticks Silvered metal Maker's hallmark H 5 x L 8 x P 3 inches H 12 x L 21 x P 7.5 cm France, circa 1950
Jean DESPRES Silver plated and hammered cup, with balls patern H 7 x D 27 cm H 3 x D 10,5 inches France, ca 1950
Jean DESPRES Ice bucket Silvered metal Signature France, ca 1950 H 10,6 x D 7 inches H 27 x D 18 cm
Jean DESPRES Champagne ice bucket Silvered metal Signature. Hallmark of Master of Goldsmith. France, ca 1950 H 26 x D 21 cm
Jean DESPRES Tray Silvered metal Maker's hallmark. Signature. France, ca 1950 L 14,7 x H 18,3 inches L 37.5 x H 46.5 cm
Jean Després (1889-1980) Cutlery set Silver plated 9 big spoons 9 big knifes 15 big forks 8 small spoons 8 small forks 7 small knifes France, circa 1950
JEAN DESPRES (1889-1980) Pair of candlesticks Hammered silver metal H 24,5 cm H 9 5/8 inch Signature engraved, Manufacturer hallmark France, circa 1960