Some of our favorite pieces can be traced back to the Art Deco period. During this time, designs were abstract and geometric shapes were popular. This took hold after WW1 and ended at the beginning of WW2. Jewelry moved toward function and unadorned style after WW2 and The Depression.
Art Deco motifs are characterized by geometric designs, diverse combinations of color and abstract patterns. In 1922, the opening of Tut-ankh-amuns tomb in Egypt inspired an Egyptian revival. Influences from Cubism as well as African, Asian, Persian/Islamic, Jugendstil and Native American designs were common in Art Deco jewelry.
The name "Art Deco" came from The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts world's fair held in Paris, France from April to October 1925. It was designed by the French government to highlight the new Style Moderne of architecture, interior decoration, furniture, glass, jewelry, and other decorative arts in Europe and throughout the world.
There were 15,000 exhibitors from twenty different countries, visited by sixteen million people. The Style Moderne presented at the Exposition later and became known as "Art Deco". Women started working and became able to buy jewelry on their own which launched their fashion, and it slowly changed.
Cultured pearls perfected by Mikimoto Kokichi, made pearls more affordable for the working woman. Mikimoto pearls were popular with the women in the entertainment industry, which eventually made them popular with women everywhere.
Modern Industrialism and technology further influenced the Art Deco style. The Machine Age represented optimism, power, and hope for the future. The presence of "the machine" in the jewelry designs along with new materials including enamel and rubber elements as they resemble machine parts.
Global travel influenced the use of different materials and use of colored stones.These materials included enamel, rock crystal, black onyx, coral, jade, turquoise, amethyst, and lapis lazuli. Stones were carved into a variety of boldly colored geometric shapes, creating the new Art Deco design. The use of synthetic sapphires and emeralds became common as well.
Today, as we see previous trends creep back into everyday life, we always keep an eye out for Art Deco pieces. Do you have pieces you want to sell? Contact us today to get started!