One Major Art Movement That Influenced Fashion In 19Th Century Twentieth-Century Jewelry Styles

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Twentieth-Century Jewelry Styles

Twentieth century jewelry styles show an interesting evolution. We know these styles as Art Nouveau, Edwardian (or Garland), Art Deco, and Retro. Each was popular at a particular time and each has its own unique style.

In the first decades of the twentieth century, the jewelry industry experienced a rebirth. This was due to the discovery of new requirements for gems and the development of new techniques for making and cutting gems.

Social roles were also changed, gold prices were in the hands of the common citizen. The changing role of women in society and the rise of the middle class are placing new demands on the jewelry industry. In response, the industry experienced a revolution in jewelry style and design.

The first half of the twentieth century saw many different styles of jewelry. Some were related to movements, while others were a reaction to wartime shortages. All of them leave a remarkable legacy in the treasures that reward connoisseurs today.

Art Nouveau Jewelry

Introduced in the 1890s, the flowing style of Art Nouveau was a departure from the historical revival styles that had dominated the decorative arts of the nineteenth century. Art Nouveau, French for “new art”, was inspired by the vibrancy of the natural world and a new appreciation for Japanese art.

Jewelry in the Art Nouveau style combines realistic interpretations of plants and animals with creatures of fantasy and myth. Raised to the level of fine art by designers such as Rene Lalique, this sinuous and sensuous style disappeared completely with the start of World War I in 1914.

Art Nouveau jewelry usually includes one or more of the following features:

  • Curve lines
  • Realistic images of nature including butterflies, birds, and tangled leaves
  • Fantastic creatures such as dragons and other mythical beasts
  • Gems such as pearl, opal, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline, rose quartz, chalcedony, chrysoprase, and amethyst
  • Use glass, either melted or as an enamel
  • The female designs were transformed into mermaids, basking sprites, or flowers

Edwardian Jewelry

Between 1900 and 1915, during the reign of England’s King Edward VII, the upper class of Europe and the United States wore jewelry as a way to display their wealth. They loved fine jewelry inspired by the French court of the eighteenth century. Their jewelry is made from the finest, rarest, and most expensive gems and precious metals. This style of jewelry is known as Edwardian, but is sometimes called Garland because it often features flower garlands tied with ribbons and bows.

Edwardian or Garland style jewelry can include the following features:

  • Pearls and diamonds
  • Delicate platinum mounts
  • Colorful gemstones including ruby, ruby, emerald, opal and cat’s eye chrysoberyl.
  • Motifs such as garlands, ribbons, bosses, crescents, stars, Greek keys, laurel wreaths, wings, feathers, crowns, coconut leaves, swallows, and butterflies.

Art Deco Jewelry

The Art Deco style emerged after World War I and dominated decorative arts and jewelry from the 1920s to the 1930s. It was a violent reaction against the ethereal sensibility of Art Nouveau and the subtle elegance of Garland’s style. Art Deco jewelry suggests post-war practicality with its geometric patterns in bold contrasting colors.

Art Deco features include:

  • Bright, contrasting colors
  • Strong, geometric patterns
  • A sleek, streamlined look focuses on the vertical line
  • Gemstones include diamonds, black onyx, lapis lazuli, sapphires, emeralds, sapphires, jade, turquoise, and topaz.
  • Faceted or cabochon-cut colored gemstones
  • Primary colors in rich combination and strong contrast

Retro Jewelry

The start of World War II in 1939 ended the Art Deco era. Gems became scarce in the early 1940s, and platinum was reserved for military use. Jewelry produced during and immediately after the war used materials such as gold and diamonds, which were still available in the lean years. The jewelry of that period is known as Retro.

Retro style rounded off the sharp corners of Art Deco and cut down on its bold colors. It features shaped bracelets set with small diamonds and small rubies. The jewelry of the late 1940s reflects the post-war prosperity in the more intensive use of colored stones and the increased femininity of design motifs.

Common themes and styles in Retro jewelry include:

  • Flower and bow motifs in colorful gems
  • Animal figurines of gold and enamelled gems
  • Jeweled blouses, lace skirts
  • The delicate, shaped stones of rose gold are set with small diamonds and rubies
  • Designs inspired by mechanical objects such as bicycle chains, locks, and tank pads
  • Stylized natural motifs
  • The large motifs are made using thin gold metal sheets for protection and at the same time give a striking look
  • Gemstones like small diamonds, rubies (often synthetic), and light colored rubies.

This article was brought to you by Coppari Jewelry [http://www.copparijewelry.com]

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