Throughout Europe, during the closing of the 19th century and the new century approaching, jewelers were artists in their own right. With quite a few notable movements, the Art of Nouveau was one. Art of Nouveau jewelry, which translates to New Art jewelry was popular from 1890-1910. Athough it was only on everyone’s mind for two decades, it made a lasting impression. Many pieces of today’s designs are inspired from timeless classic elegance of Art Nouveau jewelry. The jewelers of the time fancied themselves as artists rather than jewelers and the designers of Art Nouveau jewelry crafted exquisite, breathtaking, and elegant pieces avid collectors have come to enjoy today.
Art Nouveau Jewelry Defined
Art Nouveau jewelry is soft, romantic and adds a mystical touch to the beauty it represents. The jewelry created often utilized pale colors with undulating curves that flowed flawlessly. Unlike Victorian and Edwardian jewelers stealing inspiration from ancient and classic works of art and architecture, Art Nouveau jewelers looked to the world’s natural beauty and the nature displayed in Japanese art for their inspiration. The female form, butterflies, dragonflies irises, lilies, ferns, orchids, and snakes were prevailing in Art Nouveau jewelry motifs.
Art Nouveau Jewelry Settings & Gemstones
In the 1800s the gemstone on any piece was the most important element. But the rebellious artistic nature of Art Nouveau jewelry broke away from that tradition and stressed the intensity on the setting. With this new found philosophy, experimental enameling techniques were utilized along with the different materials and gemstones. In Art Nouveau jewelry, amethyst, moonstone, freshwater pearls, opal, amber, citrine, and peridot where more often than the centerpieces, while diamonds were used sparingly. Horn, shell, and copper materials were occasionally used to experiment with artistic license.
Examples of Art Nouveau Jewerly Design
– Art of Nouveau Jade Diamond Pearl Necklace/ Broach.
In a flowing piece created in circa 1930’s, a 14K pendant centers a Jade gemstone centerpiece. Softly circling the Jade are exquisite flowers designed from soft gold, centering small diamonds in the center of the dainty flowers. The bottom flower features soft pearls on both sides.
– Art of Nouveau Sterling Onyx Earrings.
Dainty, yet elegant dangling earrings circa 1920’s. A rather large onyx stone is framed by sterling silver in a soft wave-design, thus creating a small labyrinth to allow a smaller onyx stone to dangle at the bottom.
– Art of Nouveau Amethyst Ring
This ring has a sterling silver band with undulated curves and leaves. It showcases three amethyst stones. It was also designed in circa 1930s.
Art Nouveau Jewelry Appraisals in Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Palm Springs, Indio & Southern California
If you are interested in purchasing an antique piece of Art Nouveau jewelry made by a particular, collectible jewelry maker but it doesn’t have the full hallmarks, then you may be buying a reproduction at your own risk. The only way to know for sure is to hire an experienced jewelry appraiser like Brigitte Kruse. Brigitte Kruse is not only an experienced appraiser, but has amassed an inspiring reputation. Being highly educated and specializing in antiques and jewelry, appraising your Art of Nouveau jewelry collection is almost second nature to her. Brigitte Kruse is proud to have over 25 years of gemology field training! For an unbiased and fair appraisal, meeting all required guidelines, make an appointment with Brigitte Kruse Appraisals today! Between Brigitte Kruse’s resume, expertise and experience, she is a master in the industry and can happily appraise your Art of Nouveau jewelry collection.