When we’re speaking of the most famous antique jewellery designs, then the Art Deco jewellery era definitely makes a stately mention. The time, moving almost parallel with the World War II, has made some influential and impressionable changes in the themes we see today. Introducing some magnificent geometric and triangular patterns to architecture, jewellery, and other art styles, this period is still spoken about and remembered in regard to the beautiful masterpieces it produced.
History of Art Deco Jewellery
This special category of jewellery took off voraciously in the early 1900’s. A collection of French artists created a group called “La Societe des Artistes Decoratures” of Paris, which means The Society of the Decorator Artists. This creative and impressionable group of brilliant artists left a mark on all things through the media, including architecture, painting, films, interior, and of course fashion!
If we’re to dissect the history a bit, it all started when Sergei Diaghilev and his Russian Ballet group visited Paris. The plethora of vibrant colours, angular contours, and bold designs made Parisians realize what their styles had been lacking. Upon embracing these western additions, riveting new pieces started collecting praises. And, thus, was introduced the Art Deco style.
Symmetry is one of the most noted themes of this period, right along with triangular and sharp shapes. You’ll note in most jewellery adornments the presence of identical shapes mirroring each other. While the designs were loud and bold, there was an understated grace about them.
In terms of the use of stones, diamonds were noted to be of the primary use! With sharp shapes and novel cuts, this period saw very creative sparkle! Geometrical cuts of stones and settings became tremendously popular and some accessories were introduced that were never seen before, like embellished cigarette cases!
However, the flair that the artists and designers were going for during that time revolved around drama. Following to that, you will see a lot of contrasting colours, with the use of emerald, ruby, and sapphire in the lay of yellow gold, white gold, or other metals.
Loud drama seemed the essence of the Art Deco era. And that is why you’ll find pendants flaunting a huge stone in the company of a dazzling metal. Bold colours were used abundantly. Other themes that were most noted were the presence of geometrical designs, symmetry, and most often the charm of tassels. The quintessential appearance of intricate artwork is something you’ll find in all the jewellery from and inspired by that era.
Another thing that came up during that time is the use of silk ribbons instead of metallic chains, for adorning the pendants. Dark-shaded ribbons matching to the hue of stone or the colour of metal were used, often found made of silk or other glistening fabrics.
With the art deco period, dainty and feminine styles started to minimize. A little more masculine edge was being noted, given that women started working more, cut their hair short, and raised their hemlines. A transition came along, with women’s newfound confidence and equality.
With the short hair, long necklaces matched extremely well. Therefore, you’ll notice the introduction of long, stomach-length chains with a huge centrepiece. With the ever-present appearance of angular and symmetrical geometric patterns, these necklaces were most often found being sculpted entirely out of metal. However, in the case of some gemstone being used, it was usually of a bold and pronounced colour.
The period is recognized by massive jewellery trends. And following to that, rings were sculpted to be huge. With massive stones and gleaming metal uses, the rings of this period left a huge impression in the cuts of stones. More rich and imperial designs were noticed with a lot more attention being paid to symmetry. Bolder colours were used for the centre stone and contrasting metals made a recurrent appearance. The era was all about flair and dazzle, with the designs sending messages of empowerment and self-sufficiency.