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[Tidbits] The Baker: The Jeweler

The Baker: The Jeweler.

He was a baker’s son who didn’t want to be a baker. He was born in
Bourges, France, in 1844. When he was fourteen years old…he left
the bakery business to apprentice to a sculptor named Honor� in
Paris. His name was Jules Brateau. He moved on in his
apprenticeships…increasing his skills till he became established as
an artist in his own right. He was passionate about his
work…passion being a leading requirement above all things in order
to achieve top ranking status in any field. He created the bangle I am
going to show you–one of a similar looking mate to a pair…for
Maison Boucheron in 1878. So great was this man’s talent that in 1894
he was made a chevalier of the Legion d’honneur in France.

19th century jewelry was governed by sentiment, history, exotica, and
folklore. Pride and culture and illusion played its part in
influencing the jewelers of the day to create original pieces which
would stand out strongly as works of art. In this area, and in the
creation of this bangle…Jules Brateau excelled. He made a pair of
hinged cuffs with repouss� scenes from mythology. The one you will
see–though I don’t know how clear I have made it–shows a nymph and
a centaur flanked by putti picking grapes and making wine.

Jules Brateau lived in the time of the great jewelers: Boucheron,
Vever, Faberg�, Lalique, Cartier, and Charles L. Tiffany…among
others. There must have been something in the air that created these
men. Perhaps less destruction to the ozone layer. Perhaps they had
more time in which to create. Ahh…time. That most underrated and
yet most precious of commodities. I think I read recently–don’t mind
being corrected if I’m wrong- -that Americans…wealthy society that
we are…are the most underpaid employees on an hourly basis in the
developed world when their salaries are measured against the hours
they put in to earn their money. Interesting…eh wot?

I wish I could tell you more about Brateau. I seem to tend to pick
artists which no one finds especially interesting enough to write
about. And yet…when I view their works…I say: Wha?..Go figure. I
can’t. Anyway…it’s the eve before Father’s Day…the gifts have been
bought…the family’s a comin’…my wife has tomorrow planned…and I
use this day as my excuse for this short Tidbits. The upside–of
course–is the bangle. It’s gorgeous. Brateau knew his stuff.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the table menu till you get to the box that says
Tidbits…and inside the box where it says Tidbit Graphics…click on
the link that says: Bangle…where you will see a graphic of
our…golden cuff…

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

TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel: 1-800-20-TYLER
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