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Jewelry of the Art Nouveau period (1890 - 1910)

Straddling the beginning of the 20th century, the Art Nouveau period was associated with long, sinuous lines, organic forms, and idealized feminine beauty as a reaction against the colder, more formal academic art that had defined the period before. Advances in technology allowed for certain enamel-manipulation techniques previously used in tableware and by Faberge for his famous eggs to be used in small pieces of jewelry. The technique, called plique-a-jour, gives the impression of illuminated stained glass designs in Gothic cathedrals on a much smaller scale.

Mary in the Temple in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

This technique allowed jewelers to fill empty spaces in jewelry with enamel without backing required in techniques like cloisonne. This allowed transparent, colored accents to be added to pieces to imitate insect wings and vivid sunsets, common motifs during the Belle Epoque.

One renowned designer during the Art Nouveau period was Rene Lalique, who in addition to contributing jewelry designs to this period, also used glassmaking techniques to design perfume bottles, chandeliers, clocks, and vases, many of which remain popular today.

See our gorgeous Art Nouveau pendant in 18k yellow gold! Contact us with any questions.