This remarkable brooch is a highlight of the three-year partnership of Georges Fouquet, the French jeweler known for his inventiveness and high-quality execution, and Alphonse Mucha, the Czech graphic artist whose work perhaps best epitomizes the decorative luxuries of the Art Nouveau style. The two men collaborated from 1899 to 1901. At a time when the emphasis had been on precious stones in traditional settings usually derived from the Louis XVI period, Fouquet and Mucha together redefined fine jewelry design, espousing the belief that the beauty of a jewel depends on its artistic conception. Materials were chosen for their contribution to the overall design, not for their intrinsic value.


Extant cetaceans exhibit hyperphalangy, a condition where the finger have an increased number of bones. The first digit, however,has a reduced number of bones (so hypophalangy) and is actually absent in several baleen whales; only Pilot Whales have hyperphalangy on this digit. The fifth digit generally has the ancestral number of bones for baleen whales but toothed whales typically have reduction; Kogia is an exception with hyperphalangy. In toothed whales, the second and third digits have the most number of bones whereas in baleen whales it is the third and fourth digits.

First Image: (A) Orca, (B) Sperm Whale, (C) North Atlantic Right Whale, (D) Humpback Whale, (E) Ichthyosaur (Stenopterygius sp.)

Second Image: (A) Orca, (B) North Atlantic Right Whale, (C) Sei Whale

Cooper, L. et al. (2007) Evolution of Hyperphalangy and Digit Reduction in the Cetacean Manus. The Anatomical Record 290 654–672

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