The cut glass, or "paste", that make up this necklace are set with open backs, allowing light to penetrate the stones and create a dazzling prismatic effect. This 16" Deco-era piece was most likely made in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. Czech jewelers were famous for the glass and crystal work they produced in the first part of the twentieth century. The step-cut paste "gems" are mounted in silver-tone metal and joined by delicate chain links with a crystalline fringe. This piece would be outstanding on a bride!
ART DECO (1915 – 1940)
Art Deco is highly recognizable for its minimalism and futurism. Simultaneous art movements—Cubism, Bauhaus—informed the geometric style, along with “exotic” foreign influences like the Ballet Russe. Motifs like ziggurats and sunbursts, stripped of visual clutter, conveyed the optimism of an increasingly technological world.
In jewelry, the predominant use of white metals let colorful gems take center stage. Stones that were opaque and true in color, like lapis lazuli, onyx, jade, coral, and opal were worked into designs alongside more precious and brilliant gems, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Extra-long beaded necklaces and tasseled “sautoirs” followed the narrow flapper silhouette.
The baguette cut was an Art Deco innovation, and the decade saw increased use of other angular diamond cuts, like the precise caliber cut and the emerald cut. Synthetic gems, like sapphires, were celebrated as a scientific marvel. Marcel Tolkowsky, 21 years old at the time, published the design for the round brilliant cut in 1919.