Lydia Courteille's Procreation reveals a cracking good idea

The Parisian jeweller's latest series of rings under the name ‘Procreation’ brings miniature hatching eggs to the finger.

Lydia Courteille Procreation green crocodile hatching from egg ring

There is never a mundane moment chez Lydia Courteille and her rue St Honoré black-panelled bijoux-sized boutique is a beguiling Cabinet of Curiosities. Stepping off the noisy street, the narrow shop is a cocoon of marvels, overflowing with vintage jewels with a hint of the macabre, peculiar objects like a marble skull sprouting coral and glowing mauve vitrines shimmering with her surreal creations.

Adding to the exotic stock of what must be the most eclectic of the chic First Arrondissement boutiques is the new Procreation Haute Couture collection of rings. Each ring is a cracked enamel egg from which is about to emerge a little bejewelled creature.

Lydia Courteille Procreation blue frog hatching from egg ring
Loosely based on de la Fontaine's fable of the Hen with the Golden Eggs and Surrealism, Lydia Courteille's Procreation series of rings feature different creatures, such as a blue frog, emerging from his egg.

With the fantastical images of Hieronymus Bosch’s egg-creatures and Salvador Dali’s egg-allusions in her mind, Lydia’s first egg-ring appeared in the Homage to Surrealism collection. Here a dainty skeleton prepares to take its first breath as it breaks through the eggshell.

Taking the egg theme to new extremes Lydia weaves in the narrative the ‘Hen that Laid Golden Eggs’ fable by that French-nursery staple Jean de la Fontaine. Never one to limit herself, Lydia’s Procreation rings feature animals that do indeed hatch from eggs such as chicks, crocodiles, turtles and lizards as well as ones that don’t such as a sugar-sweet little bunny rabbit or a blue frog.

Each ring is a one-off and like all her work, attention is lavished on the smallest details. Gem-set seaweed clings to the turtle’s egg, jungle foliage and a butterfly surround the blue tropical frog and a red flower is tucked behind the diamond-set bunny rabbit’s ear.




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