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Art Déco costume jewellery necklace, probably Jakob Bengel, around 1930

Nothing changes as fast as fashion. What is the "must have" one season is hardly wearable the next. In the heated years after the First World War, it was no different than today. In the 1920s and 30s, dresses, coats, hats and hairstyles changed at a speed that still amazes us today when we browse through contemporary catalogues and magazines. Of course, this change was also reflected in the field of jewellery. But it is understandable that jewellery made of precious materials could not follow every one of these fashions. The investments were and are too large to allow for new sets of rings, brooches and earrings every year. This task was taken over by costume jewellery for the first time at this period. In France at first, then also in Germany, England and the USA, costume jewellery became an essential part of the wardrobe of the fashion-conscious woman at the end of the 1920s. Even those who could afford real diamonds. Companies such as Jakob Bengel and Theodor Fahrner in Germany or the designs of Coco Chanel in Paris drove this increasingly wild hunt for the beautiful. The oversized brass and galalith necklace here is a piece of this period. In all likelihood, the mighty necklace comes from the famous manufactory of Jakob Bengel of Idar-Oberstein. A masonry pattern forms a spectacular arrow-shaped structure on the neck. It is cut from galalith and covered with brass so that the fronts shine festively. The first-class preserved piece was made in the years around 1930. Cf. with similar designs and on the history of fashion jewellery among others Christianne Weber/Renate Möller: Mode und Modeschmuck 1920-1970 in Deutschland, Stuttgart 1999, esp. pp. 60-99, and Wilhelm Lindemann (ed.): Bengel Art Déco Schmuck. Schmuck und Industrie-Denkmal, Idar-Oberstein, Stuttgart 2007.

The 1920s brought a new style to the world of jewellery with Art Deco: geometric abstractions, noble materials and luxurious fittings were sought after and supplied by goldsmiths in Paris, London and Vienna as well as by their colleagues in Berlin and overseas. The longer and wider the style spread, the more developed the forms became. In Paris and the USA, a special variety of late Art Déco emerged in the years after 1930, which in the USA is called "retro" jewellery: The forms became stronger, more corporeal, and the jewellery once again more splendid. Fashion now preferred pieces of jewellery made of yellow or red gold to those made of platinum or white gold, and coloured stones replaced diamonds in popularity. The surfaces of the gold were fanned out geometrically and the jewels were conceived almost like cubist architectures.

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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.