Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco Jewelry

In the mid-1920s, the Art Nouveau movement gave way to Art Deco, which was popular throughout the 1930s. Like Art Nouveau, Art Deco had strong roots in France, and while the name is thought to have been taken from L’Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris in 1925, the phrase was not commonly ascribed to the aesthetic until 1968, when English art historian Bevis Hillier wrote his definitive “Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.” Unlike Art Nouveau jewelry, which celebrated organic and flowing forms, Art Deco jewelry is marked by its geometry and symmetry. In this respect, Art Deco has more in common with the highly graphic and stylized designs of Arts and Crafts than Art Nouveau. In addition, Art Deco is a product of the machine age. Thus, Art Deco designs often adhere to grids, while other examples appear to be in motion, as if their lines had been pulled by the mechanical acceleration of the object itself. Two of the most revered jewelry designers of the period were Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels, whose diamond-studded bracelets, ruby-flecked brooches, and sapphire earrings expressed the opulence and free-spending abandon of the 1920s. Black onyx and red coral were also popular materials, for the graphic properties if not their intrinsic value. Of course, Art Deco jewelry did more than just reference geometry and machines. Many pieces were influenced by trends in fine art, particularly Cubism and Futurism. Indeed, in a later book called “Style of the Century,” Hillier describes Art Deco as “tamed Cubism.” In the 1930s, numerous artists contributed to the so-called “pseudo-barbaric” offshoot of Art Deco, among them Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet, and Pablo Picasso. Egyptian Revival designs are also sometimes lumped into the sphere of Art Deco, thanks to their repeated and radiating patterns in colored enamels as well as precious metals and stones. And Art Deco jewelry was produced in gold, perhaps nowhere better than in Pforzheim, Germany, where goldsmiths such as Emil Lettre and Theodor Wende made pendants, brooches, and other forms in graphic, geometric designs, sometimes incorporating emeralds and pearls into their work. Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”) All About Jewels DictionaryThis incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… Art Deco 1910-1939This Victoria and Albert Museum has a terrific collection of Art Deco objects. On the VAM’s website, you can learn … Morning Glory Antiques and JewelryJewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It’s a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… DecopixRandy Juster’s survey of Art Deco imagery and reference on all things Deco. Includes pages on murals, houses, gov… Cathy Gordon’s Jewelry GalleryWith its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … ModernismThis archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… Clubs & AssociationsAmerican Society of Jewelry HistoriansSociety of Jewellery HistoriansOther Great Reference SitesTadema Gallery
art deco jewelry 1

Art Deco Jewelry

In the mid-1920s, the Art Nouveau movement gave way to Art Deco, which was popular throughout the 1930s. Like Art Nouveau, Art Deco had strong roots in France, and while the name is thought to have been taken from L’Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris in 1925, the phrase was not commonly ascribed to the aesthetic until 1968, when English art historian Bevis Hillier wrote his definitive “Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.” Unlike Art Nouveau jewelry, which celebrated organic and flowing forms, Art Deco jewelry is marked by its geometry and symmetry. In this respect, Art Deco has more in common with the highly graphic and stylized designs of Arts and Crafts than Art Nouveau. In addition, Art Deco is a product of the machine age. Thus, Art Deco designs often adhere to grids, while other examples appear to be in motion, as if their lines had been pulled by the mechanical acceleration of the object itself. Two of the most revered jewelry designers of the period were Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels, whose diamond-studded bracelets, ruby-flecked brooches, and sapphire earrings expressed the opulence and free-spending abandon of the 1920s. Black onyx and red coral were also popular materials, for the graphic properties if not their intrinsic value. Of course, Art Deco jewelry did more than just reference geometry and machines. Many pieces were influenced by trends in fine art, particularly Cubism and Futurism. Indeed, in a later book called “Style of the Century,” Hillier describes Art Deco as “tamed Cubism.” In the 1930s, numerous artists contributed to the so-called “pseudo-barbaric” offshoot of Art Deco, among them Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet, and Pablo Picasso. Egyptian Revival designs are also sometimes lumped into the sphere of Art Deco, thanks to their repeated and radiating patterns in colored enamels as well as precious metals and stones. And Art Deco jewelry was produced in gold, perhaps nowhere better than in Pforzheim, Germany, where goldsmiths such as Emil Lettre and Theodor Wende made pendants, brooches, and other forms in graphic, geometric designs, sometimes incorporating emeralds and pearls into their work.
art deco jewelry 2

Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco Jewelry The Art Deco era, running roughly from 1920 to 1935, was a high-spirited era of gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. During the Roaring Twenties, the economy boomed and jazz blossomed just as Prohibition heightened the urge to cast aside Victorian restraints. Art Deco jewelry is stylish and fun. Jewelry, like other areas of fashion, became a realm in which women felt free to express their individuality. Styles became bolder, sharper, and more masculine than in previous periods. The lacy, filigree patterns of Edwardian jewelry and the soft pastels and curves of Art Nouveau jewelry gave way to brighter colors and straighter lines. A signature characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is the use of futuristic motifs and geometric forms, reflecting the confident and free-thinking spirit of the times. The soaring Empire State Building and the Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso are two examples of the era’s artistic sensibility. During the Art Deco era, advancements in cutting techniques, including the advent of the modern round brilliant cut style, allowed for diamonds to become more dazzling and scintillating than ever before. Meanwhile, prosperity was permitting more people to afford diamond jewelry and engagement rings. New casting techniques further increased accessibility, as jewelers discovered more efficient ways to produce the most intricately detailed of settings. With platinum becoming a popular material, A signature characteristic is the use of bold designs and geometric forms. jewelers began using white gold—an alloyed form of gold—that was more affordable than either platinum or yellow gold though with a hue that was nearly identical to platinum. Visit our antique ring gallery and browse Art Deco engagement rings. Recycled jewelry from past eras offers an ethical and unique alternative for jewelry and engagement rings.
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Art Deco style was prompted by the Paris Exhibition of 1925 and thrived during the 1920s and 1930s. The main influences on Art Deco design were Cubism and Ancient Egypt, following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. Art Deco left an indelible mark on London as designers, architects, artists and engineers succumbed to the new style. Art Deco buildings dotted around London today are distinguished by their opulence and clean geometry. With developments in manufacture designers had new freedom to celebrate the mechanised world.  The sumptuous contours, contrasting lines and unconventional materials of Florin Court in Farringdon are synonymous with Art Deco Architecture.  The interior of Eltham Place, the ruined childhood home of Henry VIII, bought and rebuilt by Stephen and Virginia Courthauld in 1933 captures an opulent escapist era. Art Deco caught on and soon shaped the skylines of cities around the world. Affordable materials benefitted from sophisticated production techniques and designers delighted in the unexpected. Sharp lines contrasted with undulating curves and garish colours clashed to create a bold new aesthetic. Art Deco liberated the imagination and celebrated the dreams and desires of an International audience. It was sophisticated, cool and cosmopolitan. Designers made references to the visual innovations of the Cubists, the lustrous colours and glamour of Diaghalev and  the Ballets Russes, historic European styles and the dawn of the machine age. Further afield the shape and materials used in the arts of Africa and East Asia provided inspiration. Archaelogical digs unearthed Egyptian treasure which fascinated Art Deco Designers who incorporated geometric lines and clashing colours into their work. Art Deco was a celebration of the exotic.
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Antique Art Deco jewelry is sought after in the highest realms. Dating from circa 1920 to about 1935, the Art Deco jewelry of this period displays clean lines, geometrical forms, the use of colored gemstones, and vibrant motifs. Diamonds were used prolifically, and the metal of choice was platinum. Art Deco jewelry from this era was inspired by world and cultural influences as diverse as the Ballet Russes, Mughal royal jewels and machinist aesthetics. Invention was everywhere and during this era the baguette diamonds was introduced, as well as the French cut and the Asscher cut. Old European diamonds were at their height. Our collection includes Art Deco necklaces, earrings, rings, and more. Find your own piece of vintage Art Deco jewelry for sale here.

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