Antique 18ct gold French Art Nouveau photo locket.
A brief history on the Art Nouveau era:
The Art Nouveau era started in the 1890’s and continued to the start of World War One in 1914. Whereas the Victorian era used a lot of symmetry, Art Nouveau jewellery started to use more â€śorganicâ€ť styles as well as no longer being symmetrical. The term â€śwhiplash designâ€ť is one that is often used to describe some Art Nouveau forms of jewellery.
With a style that is very feminine, Art Nouveau jewellery has a very soft, free flowing style. This has produced its very own distinct style and genre.
Materials and techniques not previously used before in jewellery making in Europe and the United Kingdom were now being used.
Enamelling was used quite extensively, and this was not limited to being used on â€śpreciousâ€ť metals such as gold. The use of silver became very popular as a metal to create jewellery that is still today breathtaking.
This included the wonderful enamelling technique of plique a jour â€“ a French term meaning â€śopen to lightâ€ť where the finished piece has transparent enamel held between the thin metal wires.
Other materials used during the Art Nouveau period was ivory, amber and blister pearls to name a few.
Some of the more famous jewellers of this period include Rene Lalique, Carl Faberge, George Fouquet, and Louis Tiffany. These were people who often did not limit themselves to just jewellery and from their factories produced some of the most breathtaking works of art in the form of lamps and lampshades, bowls and various other works of art.
Click here to see a small selection of some of the antique lockets currently in store: