The upper arm bracelet aka arm band aka armlet has been worn for millennia. These metal bicep baubles adorned the arms of the Ancient Greeks and the Vikings (among others) to denote wealth and status. Later armbands were usually made if cloth and were worn to signify military rank or to indicate that the wearer was in mourning. This edgy version of the ancient style dates to the 1920s and is purely an aesthetic statement. Fashioned in warm 9k yellow gold, the hollow bracelet features the point and feathers of an arrow. When worn on the upper arm, the arrow appears to pierce the flesh.
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.