Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Line Vautrine, Jeweller and Sculptor

Line Vautrin, 1938

Artist and jeweller Line Vautrin was born in France in 1913. She did not perform well in school and left at age 15. Her parents suggested that she find a job and she went to work at the house of Schiaparelli, where it was her job to open the door and greet customers as they entered. She lasted 4 days. After a second attempt at working as a sales representative, Line decided to become her own boss.

Little Fishes gilt bronze necklace, 1950-55.

Her father had been a metal-founder, and Line started her own company by making bracelets and peddling them door-to-door. She continued that, with marginal success for 4 years. It was in 1937, when she took a booth at the Paris International Exposition, that she attracted enough clientele to open her first shop in the Rue de Berri.

Talosel resin brooch and Drops of Honey necklace
in gilt mirror glass with resin and nickel-silver wire.

After the war, Vautrin's success continued to grow and she opened a shop at No. 63 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, near the Elysée Palace. There she sold her jewelry and buttons, as well as belts, shoes, and powder compacts.

Two necklaces of red on black Talosel.

She liked to work with many different materials including metal, ceramic, spun glass, mother-of-pearl, and ivory. Her favorite became resin, and in the 1950s, Vautrin patented a material she called "Talosel". It was based on synthetic resin encrusted with pieces of colored mirror glass. The use of this material brought her into the world of decorative objects for the home - lamp bases, mirrors, and frames.

Leap Sheep necklace in gilt bronze with white enamel and
Curly Sheep brooch in gilt bronze relief with white enamel. Both 1950-55.

After turning 50, Line found she was becoming bored with business and retired to become a teacher of her craft. She retired from teaching in the early 1980s. Later that decade, a chance meeting with a London collector, David Gill, led to exhibitions of Vautrine's work all over the world. She received the National Arts and Crafts prize in 1992. Line Vautrine died in April 1997.

The images shown here are all from the book, Line Vautrin: Sculptor, Jeweller, Magician by Line Vautrin and Patrick Mauries. For more information about the artist and a wealth of images of her work, visit The site is maintained by Line's daughter, Marie-Laure, who is also a jeweller. Be sure to visit her site as well!

Please note: Biographical information about Line Vautrin is copyright of Couture Allure and may not be copied without permission.