We’re dreaming of a dazzling Art Deco Christmas at Hansons thanks to a stunning array of jewellery discoveries from the period which demonstrate all that’s best about Art Deco style, writes Charles Hanson.
Think Art Deco and geometric shapes spring to mind, and we’re not just talking about jewellery. The Chrysler building in New York and some of the Big Apple’s 1920s and 30s skyscrapers are monuments to Art Deco style.
In fact, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, radios and even vacuum cleaners were influenced by Art Deco innovation.
The style emerged in Europe, primarily Paris, around 1908 and lasted through to 1935. It reached its peak in the Roaring Twenties - a period of economic prosperity with a cultural edge, particularly in major cities like Berlin, London, New York and Paris.
It was known as the années folles – the crazy years - emphasising the era’s social, artistic and cultural dynamism. Jazz blossomed and the flapper redefined the modern look for women.
Inevitably, fabulous jewellery was created at this time and our jewellery consultant Kate Bliss has been bowled over by a beautiful array of Art Deco rings, ear-rings and a pearl necklace with an Art Deco emerald and diamond clasp.
Kate will be at Hansons, in Heage Lane, Etwall, on Thursday November 22 to offer free jewellery, silver and watch valuations from 10am-4pm. She would love to see you.
Among the Art Deco collection already consigned to our Christmas Fine Art Jewellery Auction are jewels which illustrate all that’s best about design in that period.
Simple geometric lines dominated along with ‘white jewellery’. Advances in technology meant platinum could be easily worked and in 1924 the world’s largest platinum deposit was found in South Africa. Platinum was fashionable and, matched with diamonds, created white jewellery.
Around this time, the technology for diamond cutting improved, so jewellers were able to achieve geometric cuts. In addition, art influenced jewellery with Cubism, Futurism and the Machine Aesthetic making an impact.Jewellery was more than adornment, it was part of the artistic world.
Another major influence came courtesy of the excavation in 1922 of the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy king who ruled Egypt. When the world saw what was hidden in his burial chamber, it had a huge impact. Egyptomania left a mark on all the major jewellery houses including Cartier.
Art Deco jewels consigned to auction already include a diamond and sapphire halo cluster ring with a strong geometric shape, estimate £3,000-£4,000. Meanwhile, a fine example of white Art Deco jewellery is a 6ct emerald-cut diamond solitaire ring, estimate £30,000-£50,000.
If you like ear-rings, Art Deco examples include a diamond and pearl set, a diamonds-only set with an elegant shape and ruby and diamond clip ear-rings. The latter has an estimate of £4,000-£5,000.
If you want to feel, and look, like a movie star this Christmas, Art Deco is where it’s at.
Kate Bliss will be at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, on Thursday, November 22, 10am-4pm, to offer free valuations of jewellery, watches and silver. No appointment needed. Alternatively, see Hansons jewellery consultant David on Tuesdays, 9.30am-4.30pm, and head of jewellery Helen Smith on Fridays, 10am-4pm. Hansons offers free valuations every Monday at Fairways Garden Centre, Clifton, Ashbourne, 2.30-4pm. To find out more, visit www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk.