14k antique gold slide bracelet from the early 1900s, weighing a heavy 42g.
Each cameo is carved with a ‘beauty’, with typical Art Nouveau hair flow and even dressing. Each beauty is distinct and each is set with a tiny round cut diamond, some in her hair or clavicle and some as part of her dressing or in a forget-me-not flower.
11 cameos in all, where their artistry and craftsmanship appear lost to us today. Modern Art Nouveau inspired jewellery cannot ‘paint’ the figural sentiment on goldwork using low relief and strong details, at least not in a small piece of jewellery. Each cameo is about 1.5cm tall, but the silhouettes are bold and flat simultaneously.
Despite its solid gold and having no other colour or enamel, the previous century’s carving techniques bring to life the freeform, feminine Art Nouveau impressions.
An interesting note is how these beauties don’t actually reflect how women looked or dressed in that pre-war era. Bear in mind this is an idealised notion of the bygone style of previous eras, given that Art Nouveau devotees then referenced from both the old and new (old by now!).
This highly stylised notion makes the jewellery a greater historical memento than it is, which is often the case for well-crafted Revival jewellery.
We will be restoring the missing gold balls to have this bracelet go into the future as perfectly as we can.
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