Refinement & Understatement
Exquisite Art Deco bracelet with emeralds & diamonds in white gold, Edinburgh circa 1925
Special luxury and quality are often not revealed in the size of diamonds and precious gemstones, in the weight of gleaming gold, but in the artful workmanship of a piece of jewellery and the attention to detail. Antique pieces of jewellery in particular prove this time and again - as does this bracelet, which is both understated and refined in its design. At the centre of the bracelet is a graphic element that speaks the elegant formal language of Art Deco: 32 cool, sparkling diamonds are set here alongside radiant green emeralds. This central element is made of solid, high-carat white gold, to which, however, a delicate layer of platinum has been added, in which the precious stones are set. We often see this artifice in Art Deco jewels, as the platinum could be worked even more finely than the white gold and allowed for the most precise Millegriffes edges, as seen here. The entire element is designed to move on hinges so that it adapts precisely to the curve of the wrist. The bracelet itself is simple at first glance, yet particularly refined in this respect. Only at second glance is the fine workmanship of the band visible: Actually structured, some of the links here have been partially polished on the top. This creates an iridescent effect, like a puzzle. At times the bracelet appears simple - but then, at the right angle to the light, gossamer rose bouquets and bow motifs reveal themselves. An advertisement by the jeweler F. Todt from the 1930/31 season shows very similar worked bracelets (see last illustration). The playful motifs themselves, references to 18th century Rococo, come as no surprise alongside the central element of Art Deco: both styles intertwined in the 1920s. In France, for example, George Barbier created an entire cycle of illustrations for the then-scandalous epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses of 1782; in Germany, Paul Scheurich simultaneously modeled gallant Rococo ladies and courtiers for the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. The graphic artist Louis Icart also created compositions that were equally indebted to his own time and to François Boucher's rococo scenes. Obviously, people of that time felt connected to the Rococo, with its sensual pleasure and lust for luxury, which in a way also characterized the turbulent 1920s. The ornate bracelet has been preserved in its exact-fitting original case by the Scottish jewellers Hamilton & Inches from Princes Street in Edinburgh, who have been appointed by "Royal Warrant" as purveyors to the court of the British Royal Family for almost 130 years. This honour is also noted in the lid of the case on cream silk. Stored in this way, the bracelet has survived the test of time completely unscathed.
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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.