Charlotte Perriand, Ball Bearings, and Modernist Jewelry

Simon Bliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Charlotte Perriand's ball-bearings necklace was exhibited in 2009 at the exhibition "Bijoux Art Deco et Avant Garde" at the Musée Des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and, in 2011, in the show "Charlotte Perriand 1903-99: From Photography to Interior Design" at the Petit Palais. The necklace became, for a short period, synonymous with Perriand and with her championing of the machine aesthetic in the late 1920s and has subsequently attained the status of a mythical object and symbol of the machine age. This essay considers the necklace as an object and symbol in the context of modernist aesthetics. It also discusses its role in the formation of Perriand's identity in the late 1920s, when she was working with Le Corbusier, and aspects of gender and politics in the context of the wider modern movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-188
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


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