Endless talk of all things sparkly.

Jewelry Time Periods: Art Nouveau Period


The Art Nouveau Period (1895-1915) was an uncontrived time, as it came about as an artistic revolt against all that was popular and commonplace of the 19th Century.  This time period did not last too long, but created many sought after collectibles, art, architecture and jewelry.  Focus was given to craftsmanship and creativity, since people felt things were becoming too industrial and imitative.   Ironically, the reason for its coming to be, became the time period’s demise, after it became commercialized and cheaply copied.

Some motifs and distinctive elements of this time period:

  • natural subjects: flowers, insects, birds
  • curving, asymmetrical lines and designs
  • female visage or silhouette with long, flowing hair
  • enameling & plique à jour (stained glass effect)
  • butterflies, dragonflies, swans, reptiles, snakes/serpents, orchids, irises, creepy/nightmarish things- bats, owls, vultures
  • opals, amber, horn, ivory were often used; even glass…diamonds were used sparingly

Important People of the Time:

  • René Lalique– French designer, worked for Cartier, Boucheron, created pieces for Samuel Bing’s Paris shop Maison de I’Art Nouveau
  • Georges Fouquet