Modern times

Expressive late Art Deco ring with diamond & rubies, 1940s

Exciting and startlingly modern, this ring from the 1940s appears. When one thinks of Art Deco jewelry, the first thing that comes to mind is cool, elegant designs in platinum and white gold, gleaming white with rich diamond settings. Fine designs in geometric shapes, articulated by the finest saw work and delicately and elegantly designed: This is the style of the late 1920s, which in fact corresponds to early Art Deco. In the late 1930s, however, the Parisian jewellery houses in particular developed this formal language further, and by the end of the decade there was a turnaround: instead of white gold and platinum, yellow gold was now once again the metal of choice, and the forms became more sculptural, voluminous and expansive, although still designed from a powerful geometry. This change in style is not exclusively but also explained by the technical and economic changes of the time. Platinum, for example, was de facto no longer available to goldsmiths at the latest with the beginning of the war, which is why the switch to yellow gold was not only voluntary. The designs of the jewellery, on the other hand, increasingly took forms from the realm of technology as their model, and it is not surprising that from the years around 1940 we encounter not only bicycle chains but also the chain tracks of the new type of tanks ("tank tracks") as jewellery details. This ring, a sumptuous and voluminous piece, comes from this period and introduces us to all of these stylistic features that were prevalent throughout Europe. Made of high karat gold, the design presents a circular ring head on an organically curved three-part rail. This presents a wonderful old-cut diamond of approximately 0.90 carats, framed by a band of smaller set diamonds. Two red rubies add a colorful accent and create an exciting dynamic through their laterally offset arrangement. The combination of diamonds and rubies was extremely popular in the 1940s and can be found on numerous pieces of jewellery. With its sense of glamour and drama, the ring is an unusual eye-catcher on the finger that has lost none of its spectacular radiance even after more than 70 years.

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 France and the USA, for example, a special form of late Art Deco called "retro" jewellery emerged in the years after 1930: The forms became stronger, more physical, the volumes larger and the jewellery once again more splendid, whereby the colourfulness of the stones and metal used played a major role. But not only the shapes changed, also the colours of the jewellery changed after some time: the fashion of the years from 1940 onwards, for example, preferred jewellery made of yellow or red gold to those made of platinum or white gold and coloured stones replaced diamonds in their popularity. The surfaces of the gold were fanned out geometrically and the jewels were conceived almost like cubist architectures.

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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.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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.