I remember coming across Catherine Noll’s jewellery by chance in the 1970’s on the Left Bank, possibly Rue Jacob.

I think it was the primitive and sophisticated form of her jewellery that seduced me – the harsh ivory and ebony – forms which were so attractive, sensual, African and yet also so modern. There was a necklace made of large ivory baguettes and a central thick, egg-shaped piece. I had chosen it as an object, a wearable sculpture or piece of art.

It was like a pebble, a natural object softened by her adventurous hand. I think it was this aspect that at first glance really captivated me, these forms that one could imagine coming across in nature.

She must have had the great fortune as a child to play with these materials which had been already shaped by her grandfather, Alexandre Noll. This would have allowed her to train her eye and hand into connecting with difficult materials such as wood and ivory.

With the exposure that she enjoys today, one can see that it is these kinds of beautiful and extraordinary objects which transcend fashion and time.

Catherine Deneuve