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The Art Moderne (Retro) Jewellery Period (1935 – 1946)

30 November 2015 15:41

Art moderne jewellery styles were a natural follow on to the art deco period.  More yellow gold was shown and chunky and blocky ornaments using small diamonds, calibre, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

In order to conserve gold stocks that were used to underwrite a nations currency; and to allow for the continuance of the jewellery industry 14 carat gold was introduced at the outset of the 2nd World War.  The period was also known as the retro period it became very fashionable for many gold items to have a rose gold effect.  This was achieved by mixing yellow gold and copper to a 14 carat standard, many items were merely stamped 14k to denote the gold content.

Cocktail watches, necklaces, chokers, bracelets and cocktail rings were colourfully adorned with small precious stones.  Good quality workmanship was almost as paramount as the art deco jewellery masters.  Again, the great French Parisian Joalliers Bourcheron, Van Cleef et Arpels and Cartier were at the forefront of design.  These styles and designs became the more the domain of the upper middle classes as the consequences of the 2nd World War had impoverished many.  Art Moderne (Retro) began to fade in the early 50s when mass production machinery became more widely available.  Sadly, the 1950s  resulted in a decline of the great delicate workmanship of the art deco and art modern periods.