An Octave Landuyt pendant, in matching case

The King Baudouin Foundation’s Heritage Fund has acquired this stunning pendant, together with its own painted case, created by Belgian artist Octave Landuyt. The piece has been entrusted to the DIVA, in Antwerp, whose collection of jewellery will be further enriched by this representative piece of Landuyt’s work.

Octave Landuyt’s jewellery has a prominent place among jewellery created by Belgian artists in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, many well-known artists from a range of disciplines turned to the conception and creation of jewellery. With their original designs, they made their mark on contemporary jewellery design.

Octave Landuyt created his jewellery using his own formal language, a style that was full of symbolism. His work can be recognized not only from its content but also its form, with its references to death, menace and decadence, as well as to life. For inspiration, he drew on dreams and illusion. Unlike most visual artists of his period, he did not make miniatures of his paintings or sculptures. Other jewellery designers in our collection did so. Thus, the pendant Signal de l'Autoroute d'Ostende by Jacques Moeschal is a miniature in gold of his eponymous monumental sculpture on the Ostend motorway. Similar miniatures were created by Paul Van Hoeydonck with his pendant Astronaute I, and by Pierre Caille with his pendant Cavalier I.

This impressive pendant by Octave Landuyt comprises a series of ivory rings with a gilded head in which we can recognise Landuyt’s style. The pendant is decorated with amethyst, garnet and cornelian cabochons. The red and orange colours of the latter stones refer to blood and fire and are typical of the palette of colours used by the artist. Like several of his other works of art, the eyes in the head, which look straight at the onlooker, play an important role, while the mouth is open, in a somewhat perplexing attitude. This piece is representative of Octave Landuyt’s work during the 1960s and1970s, both in terms of the materials and techniques used and the subjects of his jewellery (masks, crosses).

The particularity of this piece of jewellery lies in the fact that it is a unique specimen, which sits in a signed, bronze case on which Landuyt has painted a face with a bird in blue bronze and green paint. During the mid-1970s, Landuyt created a number of similar, signed jewellery boxes, the interiors of which were always adapted to the jewellery they contained. In each instance, the jewellery and the box were conceived as a total work of art.

The King Baudouin Foundation’s Heritage Fund acquired this pendant and its case and entrusted them to the DIVA(link is external) in Antwerp. This piece comes in addition to two other pieces of jewellery by Landuyt that have been entrusted to the DIVA. The museum intends to carry out in-depth research about this piece.

Material / technique: 
Pendant: gold, ivory, tiger eye, agate, opal. Case: frame in bronze with a painted drawing in blue bronze and green, base in wood, covered in brown velvet, finished with black plastic. Inner element in plastic with pyrography.
Dimensions (case): 39 x 39 x 11 cm; dimensions (pendant): 18 x 12 cm. Gross weight (pendant): 327.3 g.
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Heritage Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
DIVA, Antwerpen