This outstanding signet ring is crafted in 18k yellow gold and bloodstone. The ring features a beautifully carved skull intaglio with smooth contours and a lovely sense of depth. The use of skull imagery is a bit unusual for the time this piece was made (the ring is hallmarked for 1928), and is evocative of the memento mori amulets and rings popularly worn from 16th century through the early 1800s. The ring is stamped with the makers mark of Deakin & Francis, a celebrated British jewelry firm that traces it's origins back to 1786 and is still in business today.
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.