Jewelry History

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Diamond History

This style was popular from roughly 1895 until World War I. Although it often became an umbrella term for a number of varied styles and movements, Art Nouveau jewelry is one of the most common names. Known as Jugenstil in Germany and Austria, Arts & Crafts in Britain, and Art Nouveau in France, these do, however, share some similarities and overlap in many ways. In general, all these styles were a rebellion or counter weight against much of the rigid and sometimes formulaic designs of the mid and late Victorian period. Also too was a surge toward hand made, rather than machine made work propagated from the industrial age of the mid 19th century. Less expensive materials were chosen and combined with hand made craftsmanship (or what appeared to be hand crafted). Harkening back to the individual, rather than the mass produced, led to a radical form of jewelry not seen before. Silver, enamels, moonstones, even horn and natural materials, were combined in organic and sinuous forms, with metals being prominent and used artfully in the naturalistic designs.  Art Nouveau was an exploration into the world of nature and fantasy. Exotic flowers, mythical beasts, dragon flies, and enchanted women set in a midst of sinuous, vine-like designs were all common motifs. Leading jewelers of the day - Louis Comfort Tiffany, Karl Faberge, Rene Lalique and Georges Fouquet - created extraordinarily beautiful and original jewels inspired by natural and mythological themes.