Art Déco Jewellery and Accessories. A New Style for a New World

Book  /  CataloguesDesignHistoryArnoldsche
Published: 18.03.2010
Art Déco Jewellery and Accessories. A New Style for a New World.
Cornelie Holzach
Text by:
Christianne Weber-Stöber, Adelheid Rasche
Edited by:
Arnoldsche Art Publishers
Edited at:
Technical data:
160 pages, hardback, 183 objects reproduced in colour, text in German and English, 23.5 x 28.5 cm
from $47.25

This sumptuously designed publication from ARNOLDSCHE presents the whole range of Art-Déco jewellery ‒ from expensive one-off pieces to mass-produced costume jewellery ‒ in a lavish array of large-sized colour illustrations. Essays by the distinguished jewellery historian Christianne Weber-Stöber and fashion expert Adelheid Rasche place the objects in their cultural and historical context.
For every purse –
Art-Déco jewellery from France and Germany

The 1920s and 1930s Zeitgeist produced design that was at once extravagant and astringent in jewellery made of cool-looking, precious materials. Artists and jewellers created masterpieces that were intended to enhance the liberated image of the emancipated woman. Moreover, new materials made beautifully designed jewellery affordable even for those of more modest means. 

On the Seine, the great jewellers Boucheron, Cartier and Chaumet combined coloured stones with frosted rock crystal, featured cornelian and lapis lazuli ‒ reminiscent of ancient Egypt – and created pieces of jewellery in geometric forms set off by diamonds. Japanese lacquer and enamel were materials typically used for jars and minaudières. The post-war years saw a desire for luxury resurgent in all classes of society. No wonder art jewellery and costume jewellery entranced the public at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Costume jewellery swept the fashion scene to become trendy after Paris fashion designer Coco Chanel made a point of launching her collections with “faux bijoux” to match. Thus rhinestones, glass beads, aluminium, tombac and plastic materials such as Bakelite and Galalith became socially acceptable and glittered at the most elegant salons. 

In Germany, art jewellery between the two world wars was shaped by distinguished goldsmiths, including Elisabeth Treskow, Theodor Wende, Herbert Zeitner and – at the Bauhaus ‒ Naum Slutzky. Larger workshops and jewellery manufacturers also contributed substantially to the new trend in jewellery. The Idar-Oberstein firm of Jakob Bengel, which made countless variations on chic chains of chromium and plastic, and – with different products ‒ Gustav Braendle, Th. Fahrner, Successor proved that mass production and well designed cutting-edge jewellery need not represent a contradiction in terms. 


The present book is published to accompany the exhibition “Art Déco – 1920s Jewellery and Accessories” at the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum from 20 September 2008 to 11 January 2009. The exhibition is held under the auspices of the City of Pforzheim Twenties Cultural Festival.