Jean Elysée Puiforcat (August 5, 1897 – October 20, 1945) was a famous French sculptor and jewelry designer. After serving in World War I, Puiforcat apprenticed as a silversmith in Paris.
Puiforcat was a master of the Art Deco style, creating designs that featured smooth, angular surfaces to emphasize geometric shapes. The designer incorporated precious materials into his designs including ivory, onyx, lapis lazuli, rosewood, as well as gold gilding.
After relocating to Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 1927, he then co-founded the Union des Artistes Modernes in 1928. It was here that he began designing tableware and liturgical pieces.
With the hardships brought on by another World War, Puiforcat fled France and moved in Mexico in 1941. He opened a small studio the following year and successfully exported to the United States until his death in 1945.
Andy Warhol collected Puiforcat silverware, which he acquired while visiting Paris in the 1970s. These pieces were subsequently sold in 1988 at a Sotheby's auction for $451,000. Work by Puiforcat is currently held in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The company, Puiforcat, maintains contemporary production of his designs as well as the work of new artists and designers.
Bio & photo: Puiforcat website