The University of Liege in Belgium was established in 1817 by King Wilhelm I. The university was established at the insistence of Napoleon (Belgium being a part of the Napoleonic Empire at the time), who believed Belgium should have a French-speaking academy of Arts and Sciences. This lovely graduate's medallion with lovely classical figures is fashioned in sterling silver and inscribed "Bricteaux Adelin" on one side and "Mecanicien 1932" on the other. Hangs from a new 20" sterling silver chain.
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.