Glow and desire
Seductive Art Nouveau Diamond & Pearl Necklace, circa 1895
Plant motifs of leaves and blossoms were preferred themes at the turn of the century. They were seen as symbolizing the forces of nature, the eternal growth and decay. In the course of time, further dynamic, increasingly abstract designs developed from the plant forms, which led to a more geometric Art Nouveau style in Germany and later to Art Deco, whereas in France and Belgium the naturalistic trait was longer in demand. The precious necklace presented here is designed after the orchid. The blossom of this queen of flowers is almost naturalistic and richly set with diamonds and two pearls. Around 0.93 ct of diamonds in old cuts make the blossom glow in a bright, warm white light. Two pearls, shimmer in a light grey white and at the same time support the symmetry of the design. The orchid was already a popular motif for Art Nouveau jewellery artists around 1900, as it was exotic, original, a pristine natural form and thus beautiful in itself - all the things that were intended to innovate the artists' art. At the same time, their rich, almost overflowing blossoms stood for the pleasures of desire, an interpretation that would continue to inspire artists in the Art Deco years. Orchids, for example, were also the focus of the artistic work of the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe, who associated floral motifs with the sexuality of female bodies. This necklace made of gold with a silver front contains all these associations - and yet it is also beautiful as a luminous eye-catcher, at once delicate and yet expressive, softly clinging to the décolleté and convincing through its materials. We discovered it in London.
Jewellery is not only a precious material and an elegant form, but its history is also closely intertwined with the history of technical innovations, discoveries and inventions, such as gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century. For all of a sudden, glistening brightness filled the ballrooms of Europe: no more dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. No wonder that as a result of these developments a new fashion was born: white jewels, richly set with diamonds, responded to the new lighting conditions and replaced the previous more colourful designs. The diamonds were initially set in silver. It was only later that platinum became available to goldsmiths, and finally, around 1913, white gold. This enchantingly delicate and light necklace is an early example of this fashion. It is made of gold with a silver front in which diamonds are set close together.
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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.
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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.
If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.