Artistic Periods of Jewelry
In addition to today’s contemporary looks, we appreciate the classic styles that remind us of a time when most jewelry was made by hand, allowing for a great creative flair. Below is a brief description of some key time periods for specific styles and design. Many of our custom jewelry pieces fall into these categories.
1830 to 1920- Victorian
Victorian designers often used platinum with a lacy or delicate feel of sophistication and elegance. Many designs used lots of small diamonds in particular patterns to achieve the desired design. Due to the use of platinum, many of these fine pieces still exist today. Cameos and silhouettes were also popular during this period.
1880-1930- Art Nouveau
The Art Nouveau style finds its roots with organic impressions. Flowers, long curling leaves and flying insects were often the center of the design. The stones of choice are often opal, pearl, and moonstone. Colored stones took precedence in this period. Rene’ Lalique- was the most recognized and most successful designer of this period. Art Nouveau is somewhat mystical, surreal, or dreamlike. The design is easy to take in, smooth and flowing.
1910-1940- Art Deco
The deco period is “The Roaring 20’s” -- bigger, bolder ideas. The industrial revolution was funding jewelry designs worldwide. Designs from this era can often have sharply contrasting colors of material – for example platinum with diamond and onyx. Art Deco styles feature multiple lines and/or curves of varied thickness and lengths. The term “Tennis Bracelet” was born in this time. Women would boast the latest gifts from their beau, while watching the men play tennis at the club. The period was bold-look at me-we’ve arrived, new money and we’re enjoying the life of the roaring 20’s. A perfect example of art deco design is the Chrysler building in New York City.
1940-1960- Retro Art
The war and its impact cut down on bold Victorian and Deco emotion. The feel was defined by bold lines but fewer gemstones. Industrial influenced, the feel is that of a 57 Chevy - angular-bold, stylish, pink, gold, ruby, and semi-precious gems. Pieces featured floral sprays with wide curving, nice lines with gold accents. Nice lines and fun to look at. The look was optimistic – the war was over and things were looking up.