One of my most favorite periods for architecture and design is Art Nouveau.
I am quite fond of Nouveau jewelry, most especially cloisonné.
I thought that I would share some information about jewelry from the Art Nouveau period with you all. :P
Brooches from the Art Nouveau period are prized for their beautiful enamel work. In cloisonné brooches, colorful enamel sections are separated by fine gold wire. Pins featuring the champleve technique have designs cut out of the metal, then filled with enamel.
In basse-taille enameling, designs are engraved into the gold or silver; the entire brooch is then covered with a translucent or transparent enamel. Some of the most sought-after Art Nouveau pieces depict plique-a-jour butterflies and dragonflies. Plique-a-jour enameling consists of translucent enamel with no metal backing, resulting in a stained glass effect that is ideal for delicate insect wings. Rene Lalique was well-known for his expertise in this technique.
Art Nouveau brooches of carved gold and silver often feature the face or profile of a mystical woman with long flowing hair. Stylized nature motifs were also popular, particularly exotic flowers such as orchids, irises and poppies. Enameled pansy pins from the Art Nouveau period are a favorite of antique jewelry collectors today.
Other brooches from the Art Nouveau period depict flowers and crescent moons set with tiny seed pearls. Opals, moonstones and amethysts are also found in pins from the turn of the century, often cut in cabochon.