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The Art Nouveau Jewellery Period

The Art Nouveau Period spanned from 1890 until approximately 1910. Art Nouveau was a wonderful, intense but short lived period in jewellery history. A creative and courageous art movement, which swept through the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

Basically, Art Nouveau expressed a revolt against the long series of borrowed styles of the Victorian era, against mass-production, and against restrictions and conventions which suffocated individuality and imagination. 

The style was based on free flowing sinuous lines, natural and organic motifs, flowers, leaves, insects and feminine, romantic dreamlike figures and faces with flowing gowns and hair. It was alive with new movement and sensuality which was called decadent at the time.

This was an era where art ruled supreme and the use of materials to bring the subject matter alive was not based on how precious those materials were, but on the life they could breathe into the piece. The use of glass and plique a jour (transparent enamel) feature quite strongly in a lot of the jewellery, as does bone, horn, and many other semi precious stones.
Great jewellers and jewellery houses rose during this time. Perhaps the greatest of all was the French jeweller Rene Lalique whose name is inextricably linked to Art Nouveau. He was a most creative and imaginative designer as well as a highly skilled craftsman, who without a doubt exerted the greatest influence on the turn of the century jewellery design. Other noted masters are French jewellers Henri Vever and Lucien Gaillard (good friend of Lalique). Another jewellery House to flourish through this time was an English company called Liberty which was involved in the Arts and Crafts movement.
We currently have some beautiful Art Nouveau pieces in our Antique collection. We have selected a few pieces to share with you here:
This French diamond set necklace features floral and foliate elements; key characteristics of this Art Nouveau period. The rose, a symbol of love and beauty has been used throughout every aspect of this marvellous necklace. Circa 1870-1890.
Antique 9ct gold heart bracelet hand engraved, with four domed heart panels. The unique composition of plain gold curbs and engraved curbs adds character and impressive detail to an otherwise simple bracelet. Circa, 1900-1910. 
American made, Art Nouveau gold brooch featuring green and white enamelled ‘wedding bell’ and lilies with small natural pearls. Hand engraved reverse “FC 1907”.
We have a wonderful range of Antique and Vintage pieces in our store and online - this collection is added to throughout each year. Discover more here.
Book an Appointment with Our Expert Antiques Consultant

Gerard McCabe Jewellers are the specialists in diamond engagement rings and wedding rings in Adelaide.

We create beautiful ladies wedding rings, men’s wedding rings, classic engagement rings and dress ring designs.

We can create bespoke tailored rings to fit your specifications. So pop into one of our jewellery stores in Adelaide for your dream ring consultation.