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Art Deco

Art Deco jewelers captured the energy and excitement of the Jazz Age in their artistic, and often revolutionary, creations. After World War I, the social and political freedoms gained by women helped inspire a total transformation of jewelry and clothing styles, replacing pre-war delicacy and restraint with bold statements of glamour and strong design. In the hands of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Mauboussin, among others, jewels became artfully stylized, geometric, and even streamlined, thanks to a new generation of visionary designers. Gems in primary colors, sometimes custom-cut to fit graphic designs, were set in highly-engineered platinum mounts that were paved with sparkling diamonds and accented by enamel.  Newly long and glamorous earrings enhanced cropped hair with movement and color, while beautifully bare arms provided the perfect stage for stacks of diamond and gem-set strap bracelets, and multiple, massive rings sparkled on previously unloved fingers. Meanwhile, in a parallel movement, a pioneering generation of jewelry artists from the Fouquet, Sandoz, and Templier families translated the lessons of Cubism into the pure lines and complex surfaces of their minimalist compositions.