Antique Art Nouveau Jewellery


Art Nouveau was a movement born out of the Aesthetic era of the late 19th century, and although relatively short, it was incredibly influential in the world of jewellery. Inspired by the natural world, the movement opposed mass production by putting the emphasis back onto individuality and craftsmanship.
From Art Nouveau necklaces to brooches and rings, take a look at our collection of antique Art Nouveau pieces here.

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The short Art Nouveau period rejected the popularity of mass production and garishness that had risen in the Georgian and Victorian eras and brought back the idea of individuality and outstanding, attentive craftsmanship.

Although many Art Nouveau inspired pieces of jewellery incorporate expensive gemstones into their designs, original pieces are regarded more for their excellence in design and aesthetics as opposed to the value of their raw materials.

In Art Nouveau brooches, moulded glass and enamel were frequently used, as was iconography from Greek and Roman myth. Each piece was intended to have a visible narrative – setting it apart as a work of art in itself. Many pieces designed by Rene Lalique were tiny 3D landscapes, crafted using plique a’jour, enamelling with no backing that looks like stained glass.

Art Nouveau jewellery was designed for wealthy, bohemian women, and because of its delicacy, it’s rare to find vintage Art Nouveau jewellery that’s still in excellent condition. There are lots of pieces of jewellery from later eras that take inspiration from Art Nouveau, but it’s much rarer to find original pieces.

At Gatsby Jewellery, our authentic Art Nouveau pieces incorporate some common jewellery motifs. Metalwork follows curved and organic lines, with natural forms taking centre stage. In many cases, diamonds or other gemstones encrust floral shapes. Unlike jewellery of the Victorian age, Art Nouveau jewellery is rarely symmetrical, and is often 3D, with leaves and branches standing out from the main metalwork.