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Written by Agnes Los Last updated: July 17, 2013
How often do you see a piece of jewellery, absolutely love it… and have no clue where to find more of the same? The key is in the style – if you know the style, you’ll know what to look for.
Edwardian jewellery dates to a period from around 1901 to 1915.
The style of jewellery at this time was very light and airy in appearance with the use of diamonds and the introduction of platinum. The designers turned away from the heavy and predictable look of Victorian era. The term Belle Époque was adopted to embrace the lighter, feminine designs of the Edwardian era.
Features of Edwardian jewellery
Designs became more elegant and referenced influence from the delicate imagery of French Rococo decoration at the end of the 18th century. Bows, swags, flowers, hearts and leaf shapes were seamlessly combined to create very feminine designs known as the ‘Garland’ style. The television series Downton Abbey has made this style of jewellery very popular again.
The term Art Deco is derived from a major exhibition held in Paris in 1925 – that is the ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’.
The Art Deco style influenced all designs of the period, from transport and architecture to interiors and clothing and, of course, jewellery.
The 1920’s and 1930’s were all about glamour, excess, fantastic parties, dancing, film stars and riotous fun! Cropped hair, heavy make-up and short-skirted low-waisted dresses influenced the style of jewellery and the way it was worn. Some of the best known jewellers of the time were Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef Arpels. They each had their own distinctive ‘house style’.
Cartier designed a hair comb bandeau designed specifically for the fashionable short hairstyles. Long drop earrings became a must with the new cropped hairstyles and faux pearls were worn in long ropes to the waist and tied in a knot, or larger sized pearls were worn as chokers.
Features of Art Deco jewellery
Geometrics played a big part in the Art Deco look – circles, triangles, squares and rectangles were all key shapes in jewellery design. Diamonds were cut into baguette shapes, and bold coloured stones such as onyx and turquoise were cut into cubes, pyramids or batons. These shaped stones combined together gave an architectural and streamlined look devoid of embellishment or detailed engraving, complimenting the new flatter silhouette of women’s dress.
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