Henri Vever, Art Nouveau jeweler

Henri Vever, joaillier de l'Art Nouveau

Posted by   Joanna Calla   25/02/2023     Art Nouveau    0 Comments

Henri Vever, by his full name Henri Jean Baptiste Eugène Vever is a French jeweller, writer and art collector. He is also one of the main collectors of pre-war Japanese art.

He participates in the renewal of the art of jewelry and the affirmation of the Art Nouveau movement with René Lalique.

He came from a family of jewelers from Metz who had been living in Paris since 1871. A house founded by his grandfather, Pierre-Paul Vever in 1821, taken over by his father Ernest Vever in 1848, Henri became his apprentice while following courses at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. In 1881, he took over the paternal workshop with his father.


In 1885, Henri Vever bought his first paintings. In 1889 he participated in the Universal Exhibition in Paris where he received the Grand Prix. Then he travels to Russia and participates in the French Exhibition in Moscow. From 1892, he joined the Friends of Japanese Art and participated in the dinners of the art dealer and patron Siegfried Bing.

In 1893, Henri Vever exhibited works of jewelry at the Universal Exhibition in Chicago.

The following year, he donated 40 Japanese prints to the Louvre Museum. Thereafter he also sells his collection of paintings which includes several paintings by Claude Monet.

From 1898, committed, he defends the emerging Art Nouveau current, the development of which he outlines in a few words before insisting on René Lalique, actor of this revival whose productions are "a delight for the eyes".

In 1900, Vever hired the young René Lalique. At the same time, Vever was an important representative of the Art Nouveau movement. He is the author of a well-known work on the history of French jewelery in the 19th century in three volumes. He retraces the evolution of the jewel and its diffusion through the various classes of society.

Henri Vever wanted to leave an encyclopedia in which taste could be formed.

The work was published between 1903-1908 and is entitled "French jewelry in the 19th century (1800-1900)".

He participated in numerous exhibitions, received numerous prizes, made many at the Museum of Decorative Arts, he was also the mayor of Noyers.

In 1907 Maison Vever set up its workshop and store at 14 rue de la Paix in Paris.

In 1926 Henri created the Vever prize by offering 10,000 francs to the National Academy of Metz in order to reward an art worker from Moselle each year.

In 1937 he participated in his last international exhibition of the Arts and Techniques of Modern Life in Paris and he died in 1942.

Maison Vever closed in 1982.

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