Art Deco is Not Square

Posted by on Monday, November 7, 2016 · 1 Comment 

A small amount of jewelry from the 1920’s and 1930’s reflects a kaleidoscope of curves, angles and shapes, including negative space, delicate filigree wires and platinum frames surrounding beautiful colored gemstones, pearls and diamonds as well as lustrous precious metals cast and fabricated into jewelry for the entire body. So stunning is this body of jewelry that it has retained a place in the history of 20th century design far beyond its early adherents.

The Art Deco Movement began in 1925 with the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris. The term “Art Deco” however was only popularized in 1968 with the book Art Deco of the 20’s and 30’s, released by the art historian Bevis Hillier. Its designs may be said to be a reaction against the austerity practiced during World War I. By the late 1930’s and continuing into World War II, the design of jewelry returned to more delicate naturalistic motifs often using rose, yellow and white gold with pink sapphires, diamonds and rubies for contrasting colors … called “Retro” jewelry. In the 1960’s and then again in the 1980’s, new technologies especially in graphic design resulted in the return of Deco motifs into American and European jewelry stores.

Both original pieces and modern reproductions of Deco jewelry remain available in the American jewelry industry in 2016. Tom Tivol Jewels owns examples of both, a few of which are pictured here:

Especially beautiful I feel are mouth watering blue sapphires, diamonds and platinum rendered in new rings with classic Art Deco motifs.

The vivid pink sapphire surrounded by two circular rows of diamonds and the pins are original, circa 1920 to 1940, each one-of-a kind. In the past 50 years, these have become far more difficult to obtain, as families continue their desire to own a piece of jewelry art from this extraordinary 20 year movement.

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One Response to “Art Deco is Not Square”
  1. Dave Epperson says:

    Hey Tom,
    Hope all is well, wish you could have stayed a bit when you dropped by! will have to get together soon. I want to get something for Jodi for Christmas and need to get with you to find something she would like. You know her taste in fine jewelry and am sure we can find something she would like! I will be out of town thru the week as usual so we would have to get together on a weekend. LMK what your schedule is and we can work something out!
    Thanks,
    Dave

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