In 1936 surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985) made Déjeuner en Fourrure – a cup, saucer and spoon, covered in Chinese gazelle fur – which made her famous at the age of 23. She also made a bracelet in the same spirit, a simple brass tube covered in fur, which at the time appealed to Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar.
The artist took up this idea in 1978 for the creation of the Fur Ring: a gold ring covered with mink, warmth and coldness that makes the wearer want to stroke it, an unusual combination of two materials that are attributes of the bourgeoisie, and a subversive piece in the image of its creator.
Oppenheim’s work breaks down the barriers between disciplines. It encompasses drawing, sculpture, writing, furniture, clothing and jewellery. Oppenheim is interested in the body, its metamorphoses, artifices and extensions. She transforms objects associated with femininity and charges them with erotic, macabre or poetic connotations. Towards the end of the 1970s she met Hamburg gallery owner Thomas Lévy and together, they had some of her old jewellery designs made. Other creations were also made after her death.