Ralph Mueller & Associates is Celebrating 40 Years in Business!

The History and Influence Behind Art Deco Jewelry

The History and Influence Behind Art Deco Jewelry

  1. Ralph Mueller & Associates
  2. Blog
  3. The History and Influence Behind Art Deco Jewelry

The History and Influence Behind Art Deco Jewelry All Entries

The History and Influence Behind Art Deco Jewelry

There is one era that has inspired architecture, design, and jewelry, creating looks that are timeless, unique, and hearken back to an era of glamour and intrigue. Art deco has inspired many people for decades. Let’s take a look at the history of this style and where it came from. 

Origins of Art Deco

Following the end of World War I in 1915, the world felt more optimistic. People began looking forward to what the future would bring and designers were inspired by that. They began using bold lines and geometric angles to create a completely new and unique style. 

The art deco style was heavily influenced by two popular art movements that were taking place during the time. These movements were Fauvism, a style made famous by artists André Derain and Henri Matisse, and Cubism, a style made famous Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

Egyptian Influence

A surprising influence on art deco design came in 1923. George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, had spent years and countless British pounds in the search for King Tutankhamun’s tomb. He began to believe it was a lost cause until Howard Carter, the archaeologist he’d hired to search, had finally found it in 1922. The news had captured the entire world’s attention and designers took notice. Pierre C Cartier, one of Cartier’s owners and most influential designers, wrote in 1923 that “the discovery of the tomb will bring some sweeping changes in fashion jewelry,” and he was right. 

During the art deco period, there was an Egyptian revival that featured gorgeous gems paired with angular lines to create pieces like scarab broaches and beautiful statement necklaces.

Defining Characteristics 

There were two major schools of design during the art deco era. Bijoutiers-joailliers was used to describe art deco jewelry that featured calibré-cut gems as accents. This school featured unique designs heavily inspired by Eastern cultures. 

Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels were two of the biggest brands to subscribe to the bijoutiers-joailliers school. Cartier frequently used carved beads, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires in their art deco jewelry, creating jewelry inspired by India and Persia. Van Cleef & Arpels were more influenced by Egyptian styles. They frequently used pharaonic motifs in their designs.

Bijoutiers-artistes, on the other hand, was more focused on design. Gemstones were no longer the centerpiece and instead became part of the design. Some designers began to collaborate with one another to create unique pieces that matched completely unrelated skills, like lacquer work and glass.

Today, art-deco jewelry has experienced a renaissance, and vintage jewelry in this style is highly coveted. 

At Ralph Mueller & Associates, jewelry is our passion. If you’re thinking of selling your diamonds or your gold, contact us at 480.949.9299. Our knowledgable staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your jewelry.