Posted 6 years ago
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collection
The Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau crossover belt buckle dates from around 1905 and came from the in house designers working for French firm Piel Freres. The Art Nouveau style caused a dramatic shift in jewellery design, reaching a peak around 1900 when it triumphed at the Paris International Exhibition.
The firm of Piel Frères won the grand prix at the International Exhibition in Paris 1900 as did Lalique, Boucheron & Vever. Its followers created sinuous, organic pieces whose undercurrents of eroticism and death were a world away from the floral motifs of earlier generations. Art Nouveau jewellers like René Lalique also distanced themselves from conventional precious stones and put greater emphasis on the subtle effects of materials such as glass, horn and enamel. Silver, silvered bronze and pewter were also favourite mediums for jewellery designs.
The buckle is made in silver plate/silvered bronze and coloured glass and uses the scarab beetle motif in its design. The scarab is a symbol of rebirth & good fortune and was very popular with the Egyptian Revival craze in the middle of the Edwardian period.