Estate jewelry: Art Deco

This was an era of seduction!

In the Age of Speed and Speakeasies, social and political elements blended together to create an air of restlessness and recklessness. Women bobbed their hair, wore dresses up to their knees -- and did not wear corsets! In the Roaring Twenties women wore long gold necklaces, which swung with their every movement. Long multiple strands of pearls were also a must for the new flapper dress.

Clear, bold, symmetrical geometric lines with contrasting stone colors echoed the feeling and lines of the new skyscrapers. And there was also a revival of Egyptian styles.

Luxury was the key word in Deco jewelry. Many fine jewelry houses, Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Marcus & Co. became famous for their opulent designs. The sleek and sexy jewelry from this period satisfied the needs of a new class, the Nouveau Riche, who desired to display their glamorous and fashionable lifestyle.

The Art Deco style emerged after World War I and dominated the decorative
arts and jewelry from 1920 through the 1930s. Art Deco jewelry suggests post-war practicality through its strong geometric patterns in bold contrasting colors.

Art Deco features include:

• Bold, contrasting colors
• Strong, geometric patterns
• Sleek, streamlined look, emphasizing the vertical line
• Gemstones including diamonds, black onyx, lapis lazuli, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, jade, turquoise, and topaz
• Carved or cabochon-cut colored gemstones
• Primary colors in rich combinations and strong contrast