The art deco movement was the direct result of globalization. World fairs started popping up left and right in Europe, exposing the masses to various cultural aesthetics from all over the world, although they were very superficial and drenched in colonialism. The term “Art Deco” is short for Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes which is French for International Exposition for Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts.
The world was expanding. Global and artistic influences were affecting even jewellery. Specific influences included the period’s contemporary art movements (ie. cubism’s geometric forms, and fauvism’s strong colours), ornate Louis XI furniture, and Asian and Middle Eastern Art and Architecture. Platinum pricing was skyrocketing due to the introduction of the material during the Edwardian period. Thus, white gold was invented in 1915 as a cheaper alternative.
ART NOUVEAU RING
|ART DECO RING|
People continued to heavily use diamonds and platinum, which makes it easy to mix up Edwardian jewellery with Art Deco. The main difference is the use of white gold and the geometric designs. Edwardian jewellery was very fluid and free form (like a ribbon) while Art Deco jewellery was geometric with hard edges, less free space, and more industrial.
Another way of identifying an Art Deco piece of jewellery is by identifying the stone cuts as what is called a Calibre cut stone. Calibre stones are not a specific style of cut, but rather a stone that is cut to fit a very specific space. Since Art Deco jewellery is known for having very little space in the design, having a stone specifically cut to fit the design (as opposed to the design made to fit the stone) was most common.
Believe it or not, Art Deco was heavily influenced by the first wave of feminism. Women were looking to escape oppressive societal conventions which resulted in massive new and radical wardrobes and art deco was a part of that. To think there is a style of jewellery that encapsulates an entire civil rights movement.