History of Art Deco Jewelry

A New Style of Jewelry started to emerge in the 1920's. A strong desire to eliminate the boring 'Flowing Lines' of Art Nouveau and incorporate a more rigid, cleaner creation was envisioned. 
Long Green Tourmaline Art Deco Diamond Ring, Vintage item from the 1920s. Platinum, 14kt White Gold, Diamonds, Tourmaline.
Beautiful jewelry with exciting angles, geometric lines and figurative representations were being created by artists in the "Cubism" style.

1920: The Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, is ratified.
1920: First regular radio programs begin broadcasting in Pittsburgh.
1920: Art Deco jewelry evolves.
1922: Howard Carter discovers King Tutankhamen's Tomb in Ggypt.
Exposition Internationale Arts Decoratifs Et Industriels Modernes [Trade Ministry and Modern Industrialists International Decorative Arts Exhibition]
In 1925 the Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes was held in Paris, which was largely dedicated to the jewelry arts. This magnificent exposition is where "Art Deco" received it's moniker. Artists and craftsmen were creating jewelry with their inspiration coming from Oriental, African and South American Art and movements such as Cubism and Fauvism. Modernism and the Machine Age also featured prominently during the Art Deco period.

1922: Yard. founded in New York City.
1923: Synthetic Pearl Essence for simulated pearls invented, call H-Scale.
1924: Egyptologist Caroline R. Williams discovers the Granulation Technique used by Ancient Goldsmiths.
1925: Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes is held in Paris.
Antwerp 1920, Games of the VII Olympiad. Frenchwoman Suzanne LENGLEN, winner of the women’s tennis single and mixed double events. Credit: IOC Olympic Museum Collections The First Tennis Celebrity
The First World War was here, and women's fashion was transformed to a standard like nothing in the preceding 100 years. Women were forced to tackle hard physical labor in the absence of men, shorten their sleeves, cut their hair and raise their hemlines. After the war ended women elected not to go back to their pre-war, constrictive garments. They enjoyed their simple, elegant clothing with straight lines and a freer silhouette that were offered by designers, such as Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel. At he same time jewelry styles were changing as well. This new fashion freedom allowed women to pursue their favorite sporting and leisure activities that were previously unavailable to them.

1925: Synthetic Spinel, inadvertently produce by flame fusion process in 1908, now in worldwide use.
1925: Jensen is awarded Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition.
1926: The first injection molding machine patented by Eckert and Ziegler in Germany.
1927: Charles Lindbergh flies solo nonstop New York to Paris.
Photography: Robert Doisneau: His iconic black-and-white photos of post-war Paris
Children Receive Cans of Milk Post War France 1946
Another big influence in the 1920's included the celebrations present throughout Europe, especially France. Following years of war, a new spirit was born, a spirit of rebuilding and renewal. The Franc was losing value quickly and wealth in jewelry seemed like a good idea to newly prosperous post-war citizens.

1927: Motion picture with sound first publicly shown (Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer).
1927: Cellulose Acetate, trade name Lumarith, introduced by Celluloid Corp.
1927: Cartier patents spring system for double clip brooch.
1928: Schiaparelli establishes 'Maison Schiaparelli' in Paris.
Treasury of Tutankhamun, 1926, by Harry Burton. Burton's photograph of the treasury, a small room off the burial chamber in the tomb of Tutankhamun, is a classic image of discovery. Ancient Egypt .
EGYTIAN REVIVAL, Winged Brooch, composed of silver, Plique-à-jour and marcasite. Marks: '935', German, c.1925.
Fabulous new Archeological discoveries in the Valley of Kings in Egypt, mainly the Tomb of Tutankhamen, sparked design motifs in jewelry during this period. Jewelers working during this period adapted Egyptian influences, such as Lotus Blossoms, Pyramids, The Eye of Horus and Scarabs into their designs and popularized them around the world.

1928: Paul Flato opens salon in New York.
1929: The Great Depression begins with Stock Market Crash.
1928: Traber & Hoeffer, Inc.- Mauboussin merger agreement.
1928: Black, Starr & Frost merger with Gorham Corp., until 1866.
Indian maharajah Bhupinder Singh Indian maharajah Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (1891-1938), here with turban, jewels with pearls and precious stones (necklace by Cartier) Date: 1920s
18kt Gold and Diamond Ring, India, c. 1920s, bezel-set with foil-back rose-cut diamonds, engraved shoulders
Indian jewelry with carved gemstones that were popular during the opening of the twentieth century were a big inspiration to the jewelers in the 1920's

1930: Chrysler Building complered in NYC.
1930: Ernest Oppenheimer becomes chairman of De Beers, creates Diamond Corporation.
1930: Formation of Union des Artistes Modernes, Paris.
1931: Empire State Building becomes New York's tallest.
1931: The 'Duette' pin back mechanism for double clip brooches patented by U.S.costume jewelry manufacture Coro.

Badia Masabni 'Badia Masabni (Arabic:born Wadiha Masabni ), was an actress and belly dancer of Lebanese and Syrian origin, best known for opening a series of influential clubs in Cairo from the 1920's onward.

Vintage 1930's Islamic Arabic 18kt Gold and Diamond Ring, India, c. 1920s, bezel-set with foil-back rose-cut diamonds, engraved shoulders

Motifs for jeweler's of the 1920's also were drawn from Islamic art with it's stylized forms and colorful accents and Persian motifs with their Flowers, Plants and Arabesques.

1931: William Spratling opens the first silver workshop in Taxco, Mexico.
1931: Robert M. Shipley founds the GIA.
1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt elected President of the USA.
1932: 14k gold replaces 12k and 15k in Britain, by decision of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London.

Pan Xue-yan.Popular Chinese opera actress during the 1920s.

Superb Vintage 1920s Chinese Export Silver Enamel Finger Nail Brooch Pin
Beautiful Oriental Coral, Pearls and Jade that were incorporated into Chinese Dragons and othe Architectural motifs were used during the Art Deco period.

1932: Harry Winston opens a retail jewelry business in New York City.
1933: Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (completed in 1937).
1933: Prohibition repealed.
1933: Gold taken out of circulation.
Africa | Berber Headdress Earrings. Branch coral, copal amber, turquoise, silver and other beads | ca. pre 1920
Pre Columbian design motifs from Central America and African Tribal Art, also had some influence in Art Deco

1933: Century of Progress World Fair opens in Chicago
1933: The Invisible Setting (Serti Invisible) patented by Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels (introduced in USA in 1936)
1933: Lost Wax process, used in Dentistry since c. 1910 reintroduced for mass production of jewelry castings with vulcanized rubber models.
1933: Diamond Producers Association formed. Diamond Trading Co. created.
Theodor Fahrner Art Deco sterling silver, amethyst, and enamel necklace. Via Diamonds in the Library.
Gold bracelet with amethysts and emeralds by René Boivin, late 1930s 
Art Deco Aquamarine Pendant Necklace. A single pale blue aquamarine gleams from within this striking and unusual Art Deco pendant necklace, die-struck and hand finished in rich 14K yellow gold - circa 1930s. Fanciful foliate and geometric filigree coalesce for an enchanting neoclassical effect. 1 and 7/8 inch from the top of the loop, the chain measures 18 inches.

French Art DecoLapel Watch: rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, in platinum, circa 1930.


History of Art Deco Jewelry - The Jewelry...Part 2

A PAIR OF ART DECO AQUAMARINE AND DIAMOND EAR PENDANTS, BY CARTIER Each of chandelier design, suspending a fringe of hexagonal-cut aquamarines, from the rectangular-cut aquamarine and single-cut diamond openwork plaque, to the old European-cut diamond and oval-cut aquamarine surmount, mounted in platinum, circa 1930.

Earrings: Dangling from the ears, exposed by the new shorter hairstyles, Earrings were now long and feminine. These beautiful creations were usually set with Diamonds, featuring Colored Gems. In the late 1920's elaborate Monochromatic Earrings featuring multiple Diamond cuts were very popular. During the 1930's Earrings seemed to curl up. Shells, Scrolls, Leaves and Flowers, much larger than earlier Earrings, clipped onto the ear and hugged close to the face.

Gem Cutters during this period were becoming very proficient in their art, learning new and innovative ways, resulting in new cuts and shapes that provided the reflective qualities needed for the design.
Lacloche Frères 33.06 Carat Natural, ‘No Heat’ Sapphire & Diamond Sautoir, A rare, radiant & ravishing Art Deco necklace, circa 1930, by the eminent Madrid, Paris & London joaillier - Lacloche Frères, starring a cornflower blue sapphire. The 33.06 enchanting & impressive gemstone centers a platinum & diamond pagoda motif frame with a baguette diamond tassel dancing below.

Necklaces: Very long Sautoirs were very popular in the 1920's and often featured a Tassel or Pendant. 1920's Flapper Style Beads and Pearls in long strands were knotted around the neck and worn down the front and back. Beautiful Pearl Necklaces, complimentary to the wearer's skin, were worn both day and night. Short Necklaces during the Art Deco period, often featured Gemstones, beads, Diamonds and carved Gemstones. Fabulous Bib Necklaces created with large Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds and Diamonds were very popular.

Platinum was being used extensively in jewelry design. Known for its great strength and light weight it produced lighter, airier jewelry designs.
Art Deco Siberian Amethyst Pendant c. 1930. An Art Deco Siberian Amethyst, Demantoid Garnet and Rose Gold Pendant. The pendant features an oval cut large Siberian amethyst with an approximate weight of 30,5 carats. The Art Deco gold mount is set with three Uralian demantoids.

Pendants: Pendants in a variety of shapes and sizes were probably the most popular jewelry item during the Art Deco period. The Craftsmen from Bijoutiers-Joailliers created pendants in geometric shapes, sparkling with Diamonds and colored stones, along with influences of Chinese, Egyptian and Indian cultures. These beautiful pendants dangled from chains or silk cords.

Art Deco craftsmen were turning to the less expensive and labor intensive Lacquer techniques from the Far East, moving away from enameling that was so popular at the turn of the century.
Detail: Art Deco diamond and emerald bracelet by J.E. Caldwell, circa 1930.

Bracelets: The evolution of the Bracelet in the Art Deco period would take it to fabulous wide Pictorial Straps. Bracelets that would tell a whole story in Eqyptian symbols, or depict and entire garden of gems. The smaller, narrower Bangle Bracelets were usually worn in quantity, all the way up the arm. Charm Bracelets were loved during the Art Deco period, with their cherished remembrances or novelty pendants. Cuff Bracelets, Armillas and wonderful Manchettes were always popular. As the 30's approched and progressed so did the size of the Bracelets. Bracelets took on new, even wider proportions.

The "Serti Invisible" or Mystery Setting, created by Van Cleef & Arpels was one of the most important innovations of the Art Deco period. This setting allowed Gems to be mounted (grooves and rails) in such a way that no metal was visible.
Art Deco Vintage Aquamarine and Diamond Ring Moscow, circa 1930 The marquise (navette) shaped ring with a millegrain border is centered with an oval aquamarine (approximately 1.53 ct) set in a gold milgrain bezel, flanked by six old mine and old European cut diamonds set in silver over gold.

Rings: Large Rings were the style of the Art Deco period, decorated with beautiful Gemstones. Rings were usually centered with a large colored stone cut En Cabochon, or a large Diamond, surrounded by a border of smaller Diamonds. Step cut colored stones, such as Emerald and Aquamarine were favorites used in Rings during the late 1920's and early 1930's. Alternate materials, such as Ivory and Rock Crystal, from which to fashion a shank, were popular. Art Deco ladies loved to 'Stack' their bands. Bands set with Rubies, Diamonds, Sapphires and Emeralds. The "Rolling Ring" made popular by famed jeweler Cartier, was made during this period.

The Pearl industry during the Art Deco period was growing steadily, do to the innovation of Mother-of-Pearl Beads implanted in Pearl-bearing oysters.
An aquamarine, diamond and platinum brooch, circa 1930's the wide kite-shape top of filigree design, centering a bezel-set round and oval-shaped aquamarines, the foliate motif set with European and single-cut diamonds, suspending on either side an oval-shaped aquamarine, and five diamond-set navette-shaped link chains terminating with a triangular-shaped openwork plaque, set with single-cut diamonds, completed by three pendants of bezel-set round and pear-shaped aquamarines

Brooches & Pins: Brooches were everywhere during the Art Deco period and pinned on every conceivable article of clothing. Carved Rock Crystal, Coral, Onyx and Jade were employed by jewelers who created magnificent jeweled masterpieces. Asian motifs were loved, which included Pagodas, Temples, and Columns, along with beautiful Flowers and Fruit Baskets and also Fountains. Jabot or 'Surete Pins', looking somewhat like a Stickpin, featured decorative elements at both ends. Small jewel encrusted openwork creations, lively Brooches with Ribbons and Bows, Novelty and Sporting Brooches were all very popular. During the 1930's the 'Clip Brooch' became very popular. This brooch was usually worn in pairs, but could also be worn as a larger brooch with the use of a Brooch frame. Late in the period their styling became relaxed, but their popularity remained.

Plastics and other Synthetic materials, most notably 'Bakelite' used to imitate Gemstones, Bone, Wood, Amber and other "Natural" materials became widely available.
Art Deco Lady's Platinum, Diamond and Emerald Bracelet Watch circa 1930s. An absolutely stunning Art Deco lady's platinum, diamond and emerald bracelet watch. There is a total estimated weight of 4.86cts in single cut diamonds, and an estimated 7.10cts total in emeralds. The movement of the watch is a manual-wind. The bracelet measures 6.5 inches in length.

Watches: The new Miniaturized Watches were designed much like Bracelets and were created in many different sizes, shapes and styles. Watches designed with 'Moire' or leather straps were the fashion of the day for those participating in sporting activities or as relaxed daywear. Evening Watches were set with Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Diamonds not only adorned the Watch Case and Bracelet, but often served as the Watch crystal itself. Between 1925 and 1930 Pendant and 'Chatelaine' Watches were popular. Watches were added to a wide variety of items during the Art Deco period, including Cigarette Cases, Compacts, Lipstick Cases and Lighters. A new style of Pocket or Purse Watch was created during the Art Deco period. Designed as a covered rectangle, when pulled apart, the dial was revealed, the opening motion also served to wind the watch.

1934: Salvador Dali exhibits Surrealist Paintings in New York City
1934: Synthetic Emeralds (Igmerald) developed by IG-Farben, Germany, first seen by gemologists. 
1934: Patent for the Clip Back Earring finding for unpierced ears granted to Eugene Morehouse for B.A. Ballou
1934: Ernest Oppenheimer creates De Beers Consolidates Mines Lt. Diamond Cartel.
1934: Van Cleef & Arpels Introduces  the "Ludo Flexible Strap Bracelet".
Tiffany & Co. micro beaded evening bag, c.1920. The gold frame, stamped "14 K Tiffany & Co." on the inside, has a cabochon emerald clasp, from the Vintage Textile archives.

Accessories: The 'Minaudiere', compact, Evening Bag, Lipstick and Cigarette Case were must have items for the "Modern" Art Deco woman. Beautiful patterns decorated the outside of these practical bits of fashion. Gemstones; carved, En Cabochon, Faceted and slabbed, decorated the exterior of boxes and compacts. Enamel and Lacquered designs decorated rectangular, round and octagonal receptacles. Jeweled and Enameled metal frames adorned Purses and Clutch Bags and cigarettes rested in Gold and Gemstone Cigarette Holders.

1935: French Cruise Ship 'Normandie' arrives in New York.
1935: U.S. Works Progress Administration inaugurated.
1935: D. lisner & Co. introduces 'Bois Glace' jewelry, their trade name for colorless Phenolic Plastic (Bakelite) laminated to wood.
1935: The Jewelers' Circular merges with the Keystone to become Jewelers' Circular-Keystone.
1936: George V dies, succeeded by George VI.
Art Deco Egyptian Revival Style Fan Shaped Hair Comb SIZE: 5 ins h x 4½ ins w (13 x 11 cms) APPROXIMATE DATE: 1920s to 1930s MATERIAL: celluloid.

Hair Ornaments: Early in the Art Deco period Hair Combs, used to support heavier, longer hair, were no longer needed. In the 1920's the 'Tiara' was replaced by the 'Bandeau' which was worn low on the forehead, showing off the new shorter hair styles. The Bandeau was often convertible to Bracelets, Brooches, necklaces or clips, when not in use as Bandeau's. The exception to this was found in England where court etiquette still dictated the wearing of the 'Tiara' for important state functions. Tiaras thus created with Art Deco styling. Late in the Art Deco period a heavier more substantial Tiara returned, complimenting new longer hairstyles. Hair Clips, Combs and 'Aigrettes' also returned showing their versatility.

1936: BBC inaugurates television service; general broadcasting begins in U.S. in 1941.
1936: LIFE Magazine founded by Henry Robinson Luce.
1936: Invisible Setting (Serti Invisible) introduced by Van Cleef & Arpels.
1937: The International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques in Modern Life held in Paris.
1937: First feature-length animated film, Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarf's.
An antique Art Deco 14k white gold and diamond camphor glass pendant from the 1930's.
1930s Diamond Platinum Pin. The pin centers a sparkling GIA certified round cut diamond that weighs .73 carat. Graded as an I color with SI1 clarity, the stone is accentuated by dazzling baguette, and round cut diamonds weighing approximately 9.00 carat. c 1930
An Art Deco Emerald, Diamond and Platinum Bangle Bracelet, Oscar Heyman, circa 1930
This 1930s brooch is a superb example of Art Deco design, has a large 35.10ct briolette cut aquamarine,light sky blue in colour and set in 18kt. The twenty-four single cut and four baguette cut diamonds, and fourteen calibre cut synthetic sapphires, set off the colour and cut of the aquamarine.. Total weight of the diamonds is 0.50ct
Vintage Amethyst & Diamond Necklace, The chain is composed of 9 gold and enamel segments, each centered with marquise shaped diamond, alternating emerald rondelles and black enamel bars. Center piece is a pear shaped amethyst hanging from a enamel bar surrounded with diamond encrusted flowers. Circa 1930s.
Antique Peridot & Diamond Brooch, Openwork & Milgrain Platinum, circa 1930’s. This magnificent 1930’s antique brooch features a 4.9 carat natural peridot center stone and gorgeous old European cut and single cut diamond accent stones. The brooch is crafted of solid platinum and features beautiful openwork and milgrain details.


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