The color purple

Wide artist bracelet with amethysts in gold, Käthe Ruckenbrod around 1970

A special form of jewellery experienced its heyday in the 1970s: artist's jewellery. In contrast to industrial mass-produced goods, sculptors in particular now also created pieces of jewellery as works of art in miniature and thus took the formal language of jewellery design to a new, artistic level. This piece of jewellery from the hand of Käthe Ruckenbrod (*1905 in Pforzheim, ✝︎ 1989 in Ziegelhausen) also shows in its composition and workmanship the skill of the goldsmith as well as that of the designer. Ruckenbrod attended the arts and crafts school in her hometown of Pforzheim. From 1929 she ran her own goldsmith's shop in Ziegelhausen near Heidelberg. Her elegant designs were characterised by a reduced formal language and the use of expressive coloured stones. In addition to her high-quality jewelry work, Käthe Ruckenbrod was also known for her extravagant enamel work. Our wide bracelet is an example of the artist's handwriting. The work is made of solid 14-carat yellow gold and features four wide links with a velvety matte surface. In the center, an openwork decorative link with a rich gemstone setting forms the focal point of the bracelet. A total of fifteen amethysts form a strict grid here on a lattice. The stones are cut into round cabochons and have a wonderful, deep violet color. Wide bezels of gleaming polished gold hold the amethysts and bring out their colour particularly well. The graphic layout of the piece and its warm, intense color give it an intriguing modernity that still shows the influence of post-war modernism. This is how this work of art, which can be worn on the body, was created. Its heavy materiality is just as impressive as its elegant design. On the work of Käthe Ruckenbrod see: Christiane Weber, Schmuck der 20er und 30er Jahre in Deutschland, Stuttgart 1990, p. 292 ff.

The amethyst is the violet variety of the quartz, which shows itself in tones ranging from delicate purple to intense violet. Its characteristic colourfulness has made amethysts one of the most popular stones in every era, from Art Nouveau to the 1970s - and the brightly coloured gemstones were always presented in the midst of luminous gold.

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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.

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