Modern Silverware - Expo Paris 1925

Modern Silverware at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925

One might have thought that everything had been said about goldsmithing and that it was impossible to imagine a new technique at the present time. However, Mr. Linossier has just proved the contrary by obtaining, through new processes, a particularly attractive coloured silversmithing.

When he was a young apprentice silversmith, Mr. Linossier was already attracted by the magic of colours. He liked the beautiful and fine material of enamels, but he reproached it, however, for not being sufficiently attached to the metal and for appearing as something added after the actual goldsmith's work.

He made the same criticism of the net inlay used by Arab, Persian, Indian and Spanish silversmiths, although he recognised its decorative beauty. It should be remembered, in this respect, that today, net inlays are produced mechanically, with remarkable finesse and design, and that coarser imitations are obtained by a much more expedient process: electroplating.

Enamel and inlay did not give complete satisfaction to Mr. Linossier, who nevertheless tried to take advantage of them. Then he studied the colouring or patina of metals with acids, which worked wonders on bronzes. Brass, on the other hand, gave rise to unpleasant surprises and their patinas quickly faded under the action of light and atmospheric agents. This is when he resorted to the "fire patina" which, by deeply oxidising the metal, colours it vividly and in a durable manner. By studying the colouring of oxides and by inlaying alloys in successive layers, Linossier obtained effects similar to those achieved by painters with their glazes and, in particular, thanks to fire, deep tints similar to those of certain enamels. This time, however, it is the metal itself that provides the elements of its colouring and not foreign products.

©La Science et la Vie - 1925