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Early 1920s-1935

Reflecting the flamboyant and playful attitudes of the Jazz Age, the Art Deco period is one of the most popular and enduring periods of jewelry design. Defined by geometric shapes, angular lines and graphic color schemes, jewels of the era took inspiration from the contemporary Cubist movement, as well as from Ancient Egypt—King Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922. Black onyx set against white diamonds and rock crystal ruled the day, but rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls were also popular. When you imagine the legendary flapper girls of the Roaring 20s, their quintessential accoutrements—long strands of pearls and graceful, swinging earrings—spring immediately to mind.

The great jewelry houses, including Cartier, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels created some of their most iconic work during the Art Deco period. Interestingly, the movement was not labeled by this name until the 1960s. The term “Art Deco” was derived from the seminal 1925 Paris L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. A burgeoning new design style, Art Moderne, would also take its name from this exhibition. Its dimensional, industrial-inspired creations were a backlash to Art Deco, and became an influential trend in the decades to follow.



At Fred Leighton we buy and sell vintage jewelry that has stood the test of time. Jewelry with beauty, story and style. Designs that remain as audacious now as ever. If you possess such jewels, we’d love to meet them.

Please contact us to arrange a consultation and discuss the possibilities.

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