Of growing and becoming

Charming art nouveau brooch with natural pearl & enamel in gold, around 1900

Nature was one of the great themes of Art Nouveau. In the years before the turn of the last century, the manifold forms of flora and fauna were an inexhaustible source of inspiration for jewellery designers. The increasingly industrialized world of life was to be juxtaposed with graceful animals and plants, the forces of nature, the eternal cycle of growth and decay. The present brooch exemplifies these aspirations and combines classical motifs of Art Nouveau in a very confined space. The piece of jewellery presents itself as an elegant composition of two intertwined leaves, which oscillate in an interesting way between line and plant form. In the centre of the brooch, a flower unfolds with a lightly baroque natural pearl shimmering in its calyx. Tranzlucid enamel covers the petals and gives them a pastel play of colours in delicate shades of green and pink. Made of gold, the work was almost certainly created in Britain, so it is not surprising that it found its way to us in London. The well-preserved brooch is a harmonious piece of jewellery from the heyday of Art Nouveau that has lost none of its fascination to this day.

A special current within the art of the turn of the century was the so-called Symbolism. Formally closely related to Art Nouveau, it was mainly Belgian artists such as Fernand Khnopff or Félicien Rops who shaped this style, but artists from France such as Gustave Moreau or Odilon Redon and Germany such as Max Klinger also created works that can be assigned to Symbolism. What the paintings, prints, drawings and jewellery designs of this period have in common is that at first glance the designs are often disconcerting or even repulsive, as there was a preference for enigmatic and unusual motifs. Snakes, beetles, skulls and apathetic looking faces populated the canvases to make the viewer think about life, religion, metyphysics and the nature of nature, true to the core sentence of the so-called Symbolist Manifesto of 1886: "The essential characteristic of Symbolist art is never to fix an idea conceptually or to express it directly".

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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.