During the 1920s and 1930s, jazz music was all the rage, flappers entertained the crowds at dancehalls, and the art and design movement met Art Deco. This style was reflected in all aesthetics of the period, including architecture, paintings and sculptures, costume, and jewellery.
Many collectors of antiques are interested in Art Deco jewellery and wonder if they are the real McCoy. Kalmar Antiques sells Art Deco jewellery, and they’re often asked by their customers what to look for in identifying genuine Art Deco pieces. If you’re interested in acquiring Art Deco jewellery but are not quite sure what to look out for, then read ahead for our brief guide:
One of the first things you can look out for to identify jewellery from the period is the kinds of precious stones and metals that were used to make them. To make the jewellery stand out and be shiny, gold, chrome, and even steel was used. But what became the metal of choice was platinum, which is still more expensive by weight than gold.
The platinum or other metal was often paired with opaque stones, such as coral, jade, onyx, and lapis lazuli. There was also a lot of experimentation at this time with the use of plastics. Pearls also remained popular, and translucent stones such as rubies where given preference because of their audacious colour.
It might be easy to tell a piece of Art Deco apart based on its particular design, the types of materials that were shaped and the crafter. In the heyday of Art Deco design, some big name couturiers included Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Rene Lalique, who all created glass jewellery during the 1920s and 1930s.
Some of the distinctive geometric shapes that you’ll see from the Art Deco period would have been crafted by Gerard Sandoz. Another big name in Art Deco Jewellery was Jean Despres, who used industrial-design with influences from the machine age.
Art Deco jewellery was also a bit of a hybrid, with influences from what was considered exotic places around the world or periods of time. These kinds of influences were also featured in the literature and artwork of the period. Examples include prominent use of Egyptian Pharaohs, Tribal Africa, and the Orient. Popular artistic styles of the day also crept into jewellery design, including Futurism and Cubism.
How to Identify Genuine Art Deco Jewellery
A good way of telling if a piece of jewellery is truly from the Art Deco period, or merely an imitation, is to look at the functioning parts. For example, the hinges, clasps, and catches should be a giveaway as to whether it came from the 1920s and 1930s.
Another way to identify if your piece of jewellery is authentic is to look at the cuts on the precious stones. You can also look at the precious metals used to make the jewellery. White gold was introduced early in the 20th century, but really began to take off as a popular alternative to platinum during the Art Deco period.
There are a few other ways to identify Art Deco jewellery, but these are subtler, such as judging by the weight of the metal, and fine design specifications. These methods are usually more difficult to the untrained eye, which is why we recommend that you come along and talk to one of our experts in order to find out more.
Hope you enjoyed reading this and learning something about art deco jewelry today! I wish you all a lovely weekend babes!