Art Nouveau jewelry, popular from the mid-1890s until the early 1910s, is characterized by soft, curved shapes and lines, and usually features natural designs such as flowers, birds, and animals. The female body is a popular theme and is featured on a variety of jewelry pieces, especially cameos.

A close cousin of Arts and Crafts jewelry, whose motifs tend to be stylized and controlled, Art Nouveau jewelry favors stones such as agate, garnet, and opal, and techniques like enameling. Long necklaces made of pearls were common, as were sterling-silver chains punctuated by glass beads or ending in a silver or gold pendant, itself often designed as an ornament to hold a single, faceted jewel of amethyst, peridot, or citrine.

In general, the Art Nouveau style was less popular in the United Kingdom than France or the United States. In fact, the style got its start in Paris, when a German-born art dealer named Siegfried Bing opened Maison de l’Art Nouveau, giving the genre its name. In addition to paintings and fine jewelry, Bing showcased the work of Frenchman René Lalique and American Louis Comfort Tiffany, who helped popularize the style on the other side of the Atlantic.

Which is not to say England ignored the style completely. Liberty & Co. designer Archibald Cox produced Art Nouveau pieces such as silver belt buckles, C. R. Ashbee produced pendants in the shapes of peacocks, and numerous artists employed a transparent-enameling technique called plique-a-jour. In Glasgow, Scotland, the multi-talented architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh borrowed traditional Celtic symbols for his jewelry.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Art Nouveau was called Jugendstijl and championed by an architect and artist named Henry van der Velde, who designed Bing’s Paris gallery. Naturally, jewelers at Theodor Fahrner and other firms working in Pforzheim, the center of Germany’s jewelry industry, pivoted to Jugendstijl to meet the demand.

Though highly influential, Art Nouveau was relatively short-lived, overtaken by the Arts and Crafts style that preceded it and the Art Deco look that would follow. Both emphasized graphic impact over the more illustrative details of Art Nouveau, while Art Deco in particular would usher in an aesthetic that seemed perfect for the Jazz Age.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Modernism

Modernism

This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]

Jewel History

Jewel History

Since March of 2007, readers of Lori Ettlinger Gross’s JewelHistory blog have been treated to her weekly (sometim… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Fabulous Art Nouveau Silver Enamel Butterfly Pendant By Child & ChildStunning Victorian Art Nouveau Murrle Bennett Baroque Pearl Gold BraceletAntique 1910 Art Nouveau Charles Horner Silver Guilloche Enamel Pendant NecklaceBeautiful Murrle Bennett & Co Art Nouveau Silver And Enamel PendantPair Of Victorian Art Nouveau Seed Pearl & Cultured Pearl Gold Drop EarringsArt Nouveau Period Silver & Enamel Original Charles Horner Brooch Chester 1911Fine Pair Of Heavy Victorian Art Nouveau Baroque & Seed Pearl Gold Drop EarringsArt Nouveau Period Silver & Enamel Original Charles Horner Pendant Ch SterlingRare David Andersen Art Nouveau Silver Gilt & Enamel Pendant & Gold ChainFine Victorian Art Nouveau Suffragette Gold Pendant On ChainFine Pair Of Victorian Art Nouveau Cultured & Seed Pearl Gold Drop EarringsFine Ja&s Victorian Art Nouveau Enamel Silver Dragonfly BroochFine Victorian Art Nouveau Seed Pearl Gold PendantVtg Antique Edwardian Art Nouveau 900 Silver Paste Butterfly Moth Insect BroochA Beautiful Antique Edwardian Art Nouveau 9ct Gold Peridot & Seed Pearls Pendant**antique Art Nouveau 9ct Gold Pearl Pin Brooch By Barnet Henry Joseph C1900**Stunning Antique C1900 9ct Gold Garnet & Pearl Arts & Crafts / Nouveau PendantAntique C. 1900 Nouveau 14k Gold 10.18 Ct Emerald Cut Green Spinel Earrings!Fine Pair Of Victorian Art Nouveau Baroque & Seed Pearl 15ct Gold Drop EarringsFine Art Nouveau Green & Blue Turquoise 14k Gold Cluster RingRiker Bros. Signed Art Deco Nouveau Sapphire And Diamond 14k Gold Pin BroochVintage Silver Blue Topaz Real Gemstone Art Nouveau Design Drop Post Earrings Art Deco Nouveau Vintage Sapphire Diamond 18k Gold Lady Pendant NecklaceFine Jargoon & Seed Pearl Art Nouveau Victorian Silver BangleFine Victorian 15k Gold Locket Back Coral & Seed Pearl Art Nouveau BroochVintage~art Nouveau~victorian~sterling~camphor~glass~diamond~pendant~signed PscoFine Art Nouveau Design Cultured Pearl And Turquoise 18ct Gold RingFine Art Nouveau Design Cultured Pearl Gold PendantAntique Vintage Victorian Art Nouveau Rose Gold Fob Photo Locket Charm Pendant Art Nouveau Silver, Pearl & Black Enamel Charles Horner Pendant Chester 1914Stunning Heavy French Victorian Art Nouveau Double Sided Silver Mirror PendantArt Deco Nouveau Antique Sterling Blue Green Swirl Glass Stone Necklace 11.6gr Vintage Art Nouveau Enamel Brooch Knox LibertyArt Nouveau Period Silver & Enamel Charles Horner Brooch Chester 1909 Ch.Antique Art Nouveau Jewellery Shop Ring Display Stand VelvetArt Nouveau Solid Silver Citrine Heart Brooch By Charles Horner Chester C1910Vintage Margot De Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver Enamel Art Nouveau BraceletFine Victorian Art Nouveau Garnet And Seed Pearl Gold Pendant On ChainAntique / Vintage Art Nouveau 9ct Rose Gold And Peridot Brooch.Vintage Art Deco Nouveau Paltinum 5 Diamond Anniversary Ring 2.0mm Band Sz 7-3/4Antique C. 1900 Nouveau 14k Yellow Gold Australian Opal Heart Pin Brooch!Fine Victorian Art Nouveau Seed Pearl Gold Cameo PendantVictorian Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Necklace Marcasite Antique Edwardian N/rBeautiful Art Nouveau Silver Lavalier / Pendant With Sterling Silver ChainFine Victorian Art Nouveau Rose Gold Turquoise BroochArt Nouveau Period Sterling Silver Charles Horner Pendant 14k Rose Gold Pearl Vintage Earrings Victorian Nouveau Flower Boxed Huge AntiqueEdwardian Art Nouveau Pendant Of Garnets And Seed Pearls Set In 9 Carat Gold Superb Art Nouveau Silver & Enamel Pendant By William Hutton London 1902Antique 1900s Art Nouveau Amethyst Pendant NecklaceAntique Art Nouveau Enamel Belt Buckle.Vintage James Avery Sterling Silver Art Nouveau Link Bracelet *rareAntique Art Nouveau Solid Silver Buckle Brooch By Charles Horner Chester 1912Fine Art Nouveau Silver & Enamel Brooch By Marbles & Beasley B'ham 1908Antique Sterling Silver 22 Charm Bracelet Puffy Enamel Nouveau Hearts I Love UAntique C 1900 Nouveau 14k Yellow Gold .80 Cts Australian Opal Womens Earrings!Fine Heavy 18k Gold Emerald & Diamond Art Nouveau Design BroochArt Nouveau Period Sterling Silver Charles Horner Brooch. Fine Tanzanite & Diamond Art Nouveau Gold RingExquisite And Unique Plique A Jour Art Nouveau Brooch