Art Deco Motifs

The Art Deco Era (1920-1939) was defined by certain distinguishing characteristics when it came to jewelry design.  Below, I am going to list the most common themes, influences or motifs.

Architectural

New advances in architecture created more streamlined and bold forms which were influential to Art Deco jewelry

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

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

GIARDINETTI (‘Little Garden’)

‘Giardinetti’ (from the Italian, meaning ‘little garden’) was another continuing theme. A giardinetti piece had tiny flowers arranged in a vase, pot or basket, usually made from precious stones. Also stylized flowers without vases or pots or baskets were often seen.

They had been popular since the Georgian era, but now had a decidedly Art Deco style.

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

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

Egyptian

There was another, and perhaps most popular, Egyptian Revival movement in the Art Deco era.

Geometric

Bold and geometric designs were characteristic of the era.

Abstract

Abstract art (Cubistism, Constructivists and Futurists,  Suprematism from Russia, Dutch de-Stijl and African primative) was highly influential.

Machinery

Cars, machinery and machine parts were influential motifs

Figurative

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

Eastern

Chinese and Japanese motifs and styles were popular, as well as Arabesque themes

Bows

Bow motifs continued to be popular

Native American

Native American design was influential, in particular giving rise to long, woven sautoir necklaces.

Further reading / resources:

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Art_Deco_Jewelry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_jewelry#Art_Deco_jewelry_.281915.E2.80.931935.29

 

Copyright © 2017 by Pippa Gaubert Bear and Elder & Bloom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pippa Bear and Elder & Bloom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pippa Bear