If you’re interested in vintage jewelry, there are two main eras you should know about: Art Deco and Art Nouveau. These eras share many common features, so knowing the details of each is helpful when purchasing jewelry. In addition, old cuts of gemstones can help you identify which period a piece belongs to and increase its value.
The designs of Art Deco jewelry are largely based on the industrial revolution, but the influence of culture from around the world also plays a major role. These designs are characterized by geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetry. In addition to geometric shapes, many pieces of Art Deco jewelry also feature figurative representations.
Many pieces of Art Deco jewelry also feature filigree work, a delicate openwork design in which expert jewelers twist metal threads into braids or curls. The effect is similar to lace and can echo a gemstone. During the 1920s and 1930s, this style of jewelry was a popular choice.
Jewelry from this period often features a multitude of colored gemstones. They may be the focal stone, set within a colorful halo, or used as accent stones. Some of the most popular colored stones used in Deco jewelry are rubies, sapphires, aquamarine, and emeralds. Emeralds and asschers were also frequently used to create mosaics.
As the name suggests, the Art Deco style originated at the 1925 World’s Fair in Paris. It was influenced by both modern industry and modern art, and emphasized the role of women in society. In addition to jewelry, cars and buildings from this era were also decorated in a style inspired by Art Deco.
Rock crystal became a popular jewelry material during the Art Deco era. Dadaists, Cubists, and other artists were among the first to use it in jewelry. This material opened up new dimensions in the negative and positive spaces of jewelry. In 1924, a huge deposit of platinum was discovered in the north-eastern part of South Africa. This metal is very durable and doesn’t tarnish, unlike silver or gold. Long earrings and bib necklaces were also popular jewelry items in the 1920s, especially for women with plunging necklines.
Art Deco jewelry can be found in a variety of metals, including gold, platinum, and white gold. White gold was especially popular during this period due to its similarity to platinum and its high price. The gemstones and diamonds used in art deco designs were also cut using old European-style techniques, whereas modern cut varieties were not yet used. Art Deco jewelry is also characterized by geometric shapes.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a group of avant-garde artists created a new style of jewelry. Using innovative materials and design principles, the jewelry of this era featured free-floating forms inspired by nature. This jewelry style incorporated elements of the Arts and Crafts movement and Japanese arts. As a result, Art Nouveau pieces were valued for their artistic beauty and design excellence.
Women were a prominent feature of Art Nouveau jewelry. They were often depicted in eroticized and romantic ways. They also often incorporated floral and insect motifs into their designs. The era was marked by a shift in the role of women in society. Art Nouveau jewelry was popular among the wealthy. This style aimed to bring originality back into jewelry design. Many pieces of jewelry created during this time period were one-of-a-kind pieces.
One of the most important and influential artists of this era was the renowned French jeweler, Rene Lalique. His early works were sold in the shops of prestigious design houses. While the early work of Lalique was very conventional and naturalistic, it is important to note that in the 1880s he began to experiment with more creative means. His experiments with enamel and glass were instrumental in his development as a designer. In the early 1890s, Lalique began studying enameling techniques and introduced fantasy into his designs.
Enamelwork was another popular technique in Art Nouveau jewelry. During this period, it was frequently combined with plié-a-jour techniques. This technique uses fine gold wire to separate the layers of enamel, which then is polished. Another popular Art Nouveau jewelry technique is the basse-taille technique, which involves engraving designs into metal and covering them with a layer of transparent enamel.
Many pieces of Art Nouveau jewelry are inspired by nature. Inspired by natural themes and the new technologies of science and technology, this style became popular and influential in a number of areas. In the jewelry world, it was often used as a means to promote self-expression and creativity.