When and what was the art deco period?
The art deco period lasted from 1920-1935. In this time Europe and the rest of the world were recovering from the First World War and underwent a myriad of political and cultural shifts. Characteristics of the art deco aesthetics began to form in France throughout the 1910s, and came to fruition at the 'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes' which is where the name ‘Art Deco’ came from. Art deco did not just describe jewellery, but also encompassed a specific aesthetic of architecture, cinema, fine art and fashion design. Many believe that the unique style of the art deco period formed in part as a reaction to the previous art nouveau Period. Where art nouveau prized soft lines and symbols inspired by nature, art deco introduced bolder shapes, geometric lines and stand out colours.
What does art deco jewellery look like?
Popular motifs of the art deco period included chevrons, geometric shapes, stepped patterns, symmetrical designs and fan shapes. Due to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, Egyptian inspired patterns boomed in popularity throughout at the period and when women’s liberation prompted hairstyles to become shorter, earrings became longer to compliment the new hairdos.
Art deco jewellery made a statement, with emeralds and sapphires being popular for their bold colours and diamonds being popular as always because of their showstopping sparkle. For those with lower budgets rhinestones and paste could substitute. Black and white colour schemes were also a big trend, with onyx and rhinestone combinations taking centre stage.
Long necklaces were also popular, with long strings of pearls, often with knots or tassels at the end, being the perfect accessories to complete a flapper girl’s outfit.
Signature Jewellery of the Era
Arguably the most famous jewellery staple of the art deco era was the sautoir necklace. These ultra-long necklaces are often associated with flapper girls and often features knotted pearls and tassels.
Other pieces that are notable of the art deco period include cocktail rings, flexible bracelets, pieces with mystery set gemstones and Cartier’s tutti frutti collection.
Designers that are known for their art deco pieces include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Suzanne Belperron.
Despite being born over 100 years ago, art deco style jewellery continues to be popular and made today. Art deco style rings make stunningly timeless engagement rings which suit anyone and everyone. And when looking for a pair of statement earrings, the signature art deco style will rarely fail to please.
Many jewellery collectors in the modern day hold art deco pieces as some of their prized possessions, items such as the Daisy Fellowes Cartier necklace are among some of the most valuable pieces of jewellery in existence.
If you love art deco jewellery, take a look through our Art Deco Collection, we have a range of authentic antique pieces and newer art deco inspired pieces.