Jean Després was born in 1889. He apprenticed under a Parisian goldsmith. With the advent of World War I, he joined the air force, where he was assigned to be a mechanic, and later a draftsman. After the liberation, he returned to the family workshop in Avallon and created avant-garde beaten-gold and -silver jewelry and other pieces. Beginning in 1928, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, Salon d’Automne, and Salon des Tuileries and took part in many expositions abroad. Trading in precious metals stopped during World War II, but Després continued working with other non-precious metals. His gold and silver pieces were made entirely by hand and therefore each is a unique piece. He continued to make beaten metal pieces, decorated with his preferred motifs, until his passing in 1980.