Art Nouveau

Introducing Exclusive Jewelry

 

Although it was relatively short, the Art Nouveau era was a fascinating period for jewelry innovation. Many pieces were influenced by changes in the social climate - designs focusing on women and nature.  The traditional roles of women were being challenged and the suffragette movement had begun. 

Dramatic symbolism and recurrent motifs seemed to imply the dying of the 19th century.  Edwardian and Victorian designs were no longer mainstreamed into jewelry production.  Instead, sensual women were portrayed and stylized themes of plants and insects became the focal point of a piece. 

The use of flowing curved lines and flourishes in addition to creative effects with enamel were incorporated into Nouveau pieces.


The History of Art Nouveau Jewelry aquamarine brooch

 


Another point of interest in this period of jewelry was that artists might use more than one medium to express their ideas.  Jewelers could have also been painters or sculptors.  Ideas were shared among artists resulting in unprecedented creations that were revered.

 

The History of Art Nouveau Jewelry Garnet Brooch

Pieces were noticeable, decorative, ornamental and sometimes mysterious.  Mermaids, fairies, Medusa, dragonflies, bats, flowers...techniques were also being experimented with - infusing the jewelry with individuality.

Sarah Bernhardt, a famous actress, wore stunning jewels by designer Rene Lalique.   Consequently, he became a well-known artist of the Art Nouveau community and other people wanted jewelry of similar quality and theme.

 

Non-traditional materials such as copper and horn were utilized as well as a delicate form of enamel - plique-a-jour.  Abalone, mother of pear, coral and other semi-precious stones were employed in design.   Extravagant items were also available, containing diamonds, sapphires, moonstones, citrines and other precious gems.

 

The History of Art Nouveau Jewelry enamel elephant

 

As a result of the points noted above, the imaginative and original style of jewelry created during the Art Nouveau era remains popular with collectors. Those who appreciate individuality fused with mystery are also drawn to jewelry from this period.

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