How to Choose a Style of Art Deco Jewelry

How to Choose a Style of Art Deco Jewelry

Bold, striking and imaginative, vintage Art Deco jewelry has captured the hearts of many enthusiasts and collectors.

Jewelry from the Art Deco Era (1920-1939) had certain distinguishing characteristics.  But while there was an overarching ethos, there were various themes, motifs, and influences that contributed to the whole.

If you are in a lover of Art Deco jewelry and would like to know more before you make a purchase, this guide to Art Deco jewelry styles will help.

Architectural

  • Advances in architecture gave rise to streamlined and bold forms in jewelry design.
AN ART DECO BROOCH AND EARRINGS, BY JDB

AN ART DECO BROOCH AND EARRINGS, BY JDB (Elizabeth Taylor’s Collection)
Christie’s Sale

GIARDINETTI (‘Little Garden’)

  • ‘Giardinetti’ was from the Italian, meaning ‘little garden’.
  • A giardinetti piece had tiny flowers arranged in a vase, pot, or basket, usually made from precious stones.
  • Stylized flowers without vases or pots or baskets were also seen.
  • Giardinetti had been popular since the Georgian era but now had a decidedly Art Deco style.
Brooch

Paris, c. 1927-1940
Ostertag
Brooch platinum, white gold, baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emerald
V&A Museum

Egyptian

  • There was a very popular Egyptian Revival movement in the Art Deco era.
An Egyptian revival sapphire and diamond scrab ring

An Egyptian revival sapphire and diamond scarab ring, c. 1925
Christie’s Sale 7804

Geometric

  • Bold and geometric designs were characteristic of the era.
Ring

USA, c. 1920-1930
Ring, platinum set with diamonds and sapphires
V&A Museum

Abstract

  • Abstract art (Cubism, Constructivists and Futurists,  Suprematism from Russia, Dutch de-Stijl, and African primitive) was highly influential.
Bangle

Paris, c. 1925
Bangle, lacquered brass
V&A Museum

Machinery

  • Cars, machinery, and machine parts were influential motifs
Brooch

England, c. 1937
Brooch, platinum set with diamonds
V&A Museum

Figurative

  • These consisted of hands, animals, birds, ladybirds, bouquets of flowers, cartoon characters, and other novelty items
Brooch

Paris, c. 1930-1940
Cartier
Brooch with enameled gold, diamonds and carved coral
V&A Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern

  • Chinese and Japanese motifs and styles were popular, as well as Arabesque themes
AN ART DECO DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE, JADE AND ONYX BRACELET

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE, JADE AND ONYX BRACELET
Christie’s Sale 2306

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bows

  • Bow motifs continued to be popular
An Art Deco diamond bow brooch

Diamond Bow Brooch
Christie’s Sale 6704

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native American

  • Native American design was influential, in particular giving rise to long, woven sautoir necklaces.
AN ART DECO PEARL, DIAMOND AND ONYX SAUTOIR

AN ART DECO PEARL, DIAMOND, AND ONYX SAUTOIR
Christie’s Sale 3011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, any piece of vintage or antique jewelry you choose should be something that lifts your heart and makes you smile.

If you purchase from a good dealer and take care over your decision, your Art Deco jewelry will bring you joy for many years to come.

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