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[Tidbits] Couquaux and Debieve

Do the mysteries of life–I wonder–ever end? I have an 18 Carat Gold
Cuff Bracelet (the Carat instead of Karat is the way it’s spelled in
my source). This is excusable as the bracelet stems back to France
around 1880 and since language is always in flux and yadda yadda

The bracelet is drop-dead gorgeous. But here’s the thing of it. It’s
signed by someone named Debieve and I can find no reference to that
name dating back to that era. However… the fitted case in which it
resides is stamped Couquaux Paris. There is on Couquaux.
however… no mention of above said bracelet. But there is another
bracelet with fascinating history behind it. and it’s signed
Couquaux, 1885.

Couquaux–as it turns out–was a high quality jeweler who was awarded
a silver medal for his work at the Paris Universal Exhibition of
1878. And the bracelet for which he won the award is another stunner.
silver and vermeil neo gothic. delicately engraved with floral
patterns and more. and has the name Jehanne signed on the edge.

Which begs the question. who is this Jehanne? Ah… she was a lass
living some time earlier in medieval Medieval France who believed God
had chosen her to lead France to victory in its war against England.
Ultimately the lass was captured and burned at the stake for
witchcraft. How many of you remember Ingrid Bergman when she played
Joan of Arc. aka Jehanne as per Couquaux.

The Debieve bracelet–a name that appears to be destined to be
shrouded in mystery–is in my mind more of a masterpiece that the
Jehanne one. It’s decorated with a scrolled frieze motif in the style
of Louis XIV. It is centered with a mythological face and flanked on
each side by peacocks and winged putti–not easily visible.

And now here lies the conundrum. Which bracelet to show you? The one
for which Couquaux won a prize. or my preferred one by Debieve–the
mystery man of the nineteenth century? Eenie meenie tippa teenie. ah,
the solution is simple. I will show you both.

On the left. Debieve. On the right. Couquaux. You tell me which one
you prefer. Do we agree my friends? Or will this be typical of my
life’s many encounters. where we will be friendly foe armed in
tasteful combat on opposite ends of the Field des Artistes. I await
with bated breath to see on which sides the armies will gather. You

Okay. You are familiar with the rest. Yes? No? The visit to the
image. also known as the viewing experience. You know where. Home
page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits.
Click. And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see two
bracelets. both dating back to the mid 1800’s. Which is the more
attractive. You figure it out.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark