Whiplash

Art Nouveau dynamic toi-et-moi ring with old-cut diamonds, circa 1905

The Art Nouveau style, which conquered the world in the years around 1900, wanted to break with old ornaments and find something new. One of the characteristic stylistic elements of this new style was the so-called whiplash ornament: in and out-swinging lines that look like flying whips. The nickname was derived from a tapestry by Hermann Obrist from 1895, which actually showed golden embroidered cyclamen on a green-blue ground (cf. last illustration). However, the lines of this flower were so dynamically rendered and abstracted that an enthusiastic review from the modern art magazine "Pan" said: "This frenzied movement appears to us like the abrupt, violent coils of the cord at the crack of a whip." The present ring isolates this swinging whiplash line and makes it the shaping element of the ring. The two ends of the rIng line swing out in the manner described, each to wind around an old-cut diamond. Another diamond sits at each of the broad points of the lines, as well as in the center of the connecting diamond: these three stones are shaped in the old peruzzi cut of the 18th century and presumably came from an heirloom to adorn here in secondary use. The entire front of the ring gleams in an overlay of white platinum, while the ring itself is forged of gold. The ring is very well preserved and a fine example of reduced designed Art Nouveau jewelry.

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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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