During the 19th century, modern-day Czech Republic was an abundant producer of beautiful quality costume jewels. It was during this time that Daniel Swarovski, the famed Austrian jeweler, patented his mechanical glass cutter, a new technology that sparked the mass production of crystals which successfully imitated the look of precious gems. These sterling silver danglers boast a 2" drop punctuated by beautifully faceted pieces of teardrop shaped cut crystal. Keeping in true Deco fashion, an architectural pattern of baguette and tiny round crystals offers a nice foil to the more feminine foliate bottoms found on this lovely pair of earrings. Easily converted to posts or French ear wires.
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.