The Arts and Crafts movement began in the UK and flourished in Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910. The aesthetic of this movement evolved partially as a response to the excessively ornate and fussy designs of the Victorian era. The vibe was one of traditional craftsmanship and simple forms. It influenced design for decades, arguably inspiring the designers of De Stijl, the Bauhaus, and eventually Modernism. The work that came out of the Arts and Crafts movement was remarkably beautiful; highlights include William Morris wallpaper, the Glasgow School of Art, and this 14k gold ring set with an emerald and fresh water pearls.
ART NOUVEAU (1890-1910)
Art Nouveau gets its name from the Maison de l’art Nouveau, a French art gallery that supported artists and designers working in the new fluid, sensual style. Leading jewelers put more emphasis on the purity and beauty of the design, and less on how it functioned as a product.
The female nude and her flowing hair appeared frequently, alongside dreamy, romantic semiprecious stones like moonstone, opal, aquamarine, tourmaline, and peridot. Art Nouveau jewelers, often influenced by depictions of nature in Japanese art, looked to the natural world for inspiration. Orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies, and butterflies were all prevalent motifs. Exquisite enamel work and simpler gem cuts like the the rounded cabochon were favored. The organic shapes of freshwater pearls, shells, coral branches, and turquoise in matrix were admired for their roughness.