19 Cute Characteristics Of Art Deco Jewelry

The bold Art Deco style signified all things modern, daring and sleek – it still resonates today, writes Lindsay Baker. So what was it about Art Deco jewellery that set it apart and made it significant? “The Art Deco style really is about modernity,” Dennis Nothdruft, senior curator at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, tells BBC Culture.  “The jewellery of the period encapsulated the elements of the style in such a clear and exquisite way – geometries, sleek lines, shine and sparkle. It was such sophisticated work and perfectly set off the fashions of the day.”

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The beauty of Art Deco jewelry still captivates us: engagement rings from the Art Deco era continue to speak to the hearts and sensibilities of modern-day brides who favor simple, geometric lines. But rather than seek out a vintage ring from that period, it may be more practical to design your own engagement ring, using Art Deco jewelry design motifs as a rich source of inspiration. Here are some of the most important design elements to consider.

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Art Deco is the past, the present, and the future. Still, today, Art Deco influences dominate our everyday lives. In the buildings being erected, in the cars rolling off the production lines, and in the jewelry we buy and wear. That doesn’t mean we automatically think of these things as Art Deco, but maybe we should, at least just a little.

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Two renditions of Jean Fouquet’s bracelet appear in his design at left of the jewel. Photo courtesy of Siegelson

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These reproductions have a softer, more goopy look to them as opposed to the stark, stamped edges of authentic filigree work. Another sign you are dealing with a reproduction? Most filigree jewelry from the Art Deco era was made with either 10k or 18k white gold. If your jewelry is 14k white gold and has a yellowish tint to it, chances are it is a more modern reproduction. The yellowish tint is because different alloys are used today, differing from those used in the 1920s, making the older gold more grey in its natural state.

Read Now :  26 Popular Art Deco Jewelry History - A Story Of Flappers, Industry And Luxury

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An Art Nouveau enamel, diamond and emerald ring, by Léopold Gautrait, circa 1900. This lot was offered in Beyond Boundaries: Magnificent Jewels from a European Collection on 13 November 2017 at Christie’s in Geneva and sold for CHF 32,500

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Small diamonds as accent stones were popular, too, and were often seen in pavé settings, a setting technique that evolved during this period.

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Cartier prided himself in being the first jeweler to use such daring color combinations,  although other jewelry houses disputed this claim. He also pioneered the use of emerald and sapphire together for many of his Persian inspired pieces, sometimes using stones of impressive size for his wealthy, and often royal, clients.  He also claimed to be the first jeweler to combine emeralds with coral. Touches of black enamel, and the brilliance of diamonds brought even more splendor to the already extravagant color combinations.

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Art deco Jewelry forms included lavallieres. Undervalued for years and characteristic of the art deco period, the lavalliere is a pendant with two clusters hanging from chains of different lengths. It was very popular in the art deco of the 1920s.

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You can read about the designers of more affordable Art Deco Costume Jewellery here.  It’s easier to understand Art Deco jewelry history by getting to know what it looks like and what is still available.  Have a look at the listings on Etsy to see lots of examples. . . .

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Celebrating creativity and promoting a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening.

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A sodalite, rock crystal, ruby, diamond and synthetic ruby pendant necklace. This lot was offered in Beyond Boundaries: Magnificent Jewels from a European Collection on 13 November 2017 at Christie’s in Geneva and sold for CHF 16,250

Read Now :  17 Top Identifying Genuine Art Deco Jewelry

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There’s no bolder contrast than stark black and white and this combination is a telltale sign of the Art Deco style. Jewelry designers often achieved the look by combining diamonds or crystals with black onyx and/or black enameling. This color combination was a dramatic departure from the pastel colors of the Art Nouveau era.

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Another element of the majority of Art Deco jewelry designs is filigree work. Filigree involves delicate openwork designs that sometimes suggest lace, and it was very popular during the 1920s and 1930s. Commonly, these lacy designs feature flowers, leaves, or swirls, but they sometimes echo the overall shapes and lines of the central gemstone.

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Great artist-jewellers such as Georges Fouquet and Henri Vever chose semi- and even non-precious materials for their creations, and standout pieces from the period are treasured for their originality and design excellence rather than the intrinsic value of their materials.

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After the First World War Cartier was at the forefront of Art Deco innovation, introducing the Tank watch in 1917 and ‘Tutti Frutti’ jewellery — inspired by India — that became very popular in the 1920s.

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Art Deco jewelry designers carried the geometric motif into their choices of gemstone and diamond shapes, incorporating a number of unusual shapes in their designs. These included rectangular shapes such as emerald cuts and baguettes, triangles, shields, pear and marquise shapes.

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Celebrating creativity and promoting a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening.

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