Art Periods

Art Nouveau

The term Art Nouveau is French for ‘new art’ yet the style and movement it has come to represent was distinctly international and represented itself in varied fashions continue >>

Art Deco

In 1925, the city of Paris organized an international exhibition of contemporary art entitled: the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. This temporary continue >>

 

Glossary of Terms

Acid Etching

A process for the making of cameo glass. A vessel of two or more layers of cased glass has a design drawn onto it which is then covered with a layer of protective varnish. The continue >>

Aesthetic Movement

A loosely defined 19th Century European, predominantly British, movement that emphasized aesthetic values over moral or social themes in literature, fine art, the decorative arts continue >>

Applied Arts

The application of design and aesthetics to objects of function for everyday use. They include architecture, interior design, photography, graphic design, fashion design, and continue >>

Arts and Crafts Movement

A design movement that influenced architecture, interior design, and the decorative arts which stressed simplicity of form, a medieval style of decoration, and traditional crafts continue >>

 

Asscher Cut

A diamond cut patented in 1902 by Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company. The cut consists of a square cut diamond with chopped corners, a three-step crown, and a s continue >>

Avant-Garde

A French term meaning vanguard, in Middle French the term referred to troops that marched ahead of the army. In the modern era it is used to describe artists whose work is innovati continue >>

Baroque

An art style or art movement of the Counter-Reformation in the seventeenth century primarily practiced in Catholic countries, with limited examples in Dutch art. Applying to the fi continue >>

Baroque Pearls

In jewelry, the term Baroque is used to describe an irregularly shaped object. Most commonly it is used to describe a pearl that is asymmetrical. Cultured freshwater pearls are mos continue >>

 

Charles Baudelaire

1821-1867)
French symbolist poet, critic, and translator. Controversial during his lifetime, he has become synonymous with literary and artistic decadence. One of the originat continue >>

Bauhaus

A German school of art and design founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius and closed by the Nazis in 1933. German for “House of Building” the school believed that e continue >>

Aubrey Beardsley

1872-1898)
An English author and illustrator whose drawings are characterized by grotesque eroticism, sinuous lines, a Japanese influence, and areas of deep contrast. Closely continue >>

Belle Époque

French for “Beautiful Era.” “La Belle Époque” was a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World continue >>

 

Sarah Bernhardt

1844-1923)
A French stage and screen actress known as “the most famous actress the world has ever known.” Gaining considerable fame in the 1870’s, Bernhardt continue >>

Brilliant Cut

The first brilliant cuts were introduced in the middle of the 17th century, known as Mazarins. Developed circa1900, the round brilliant is the most popular cut given to a diamond t continue >>

Cabochon

From a Middle French word meaning “head” it refers to a gemstone that has been shaped and polished rather than faceted, usually resulting in a convex top and flat botto continue >>

Cameo Glass

A form of decoration produced by carving or etching through fused layers of differently colored glass. First developed in Ancient Rome, the technique experienced a revival during t continue >>

 

Cannetile

A type of gold or silver filigree of fine twisted wires forming a coiled spiral. Commonly used in early 19th century, Georgian, jewelry design. continue >>

Chasing

The process of finishing or refining a malleable metal surface by hammering from the reverse side, also called embossing. Chasing is used to refine the design on the front of an ob continue >>

Chinoiserie

A French word, also used by English speakers, to describe and aspect of Chinese influence on the arts and crafts of Europe, whether produced by European, Chinese, or artist of othe continue >>

Chrysoberyl

Ordinary chrysoberyl is yellowish-green and transparent to translucent. When the mineral exhibits good pale green to yellow color and is transparent, it is used as a gemstone. Ther continue >>

 

Citrine

A variety of quartz ranging in color from yellow to brown. Rarely found naturally, true citrine shows dichroism, in which visible light is split into distinct beams of different wa continue >>

Classical

Variously defined; generally of or pertaining to a past time in which things were seen as ordered and belonging to a period of high culture or a golden age. Typically Ancient Greec continue >>

Claude Debussy

1862-1819)
A French composer of “Impressionist” music, and a central figure in European music at the turn of the twentieth century. Debussy was deeply inspired by continue >>

Cloisonné Enamel

Enamels fused inside a wire enclosure on a metal or porcelain ground forming chambers that are filled with colored enamels which are then fused. First used by the Byzantines to dec continue >>

 

Cloisonné Inlay

A type of decoration made, in the manner of cloisonné enamelware, by outlining the design on a metal base with thin wire or strips of metal (cloisons) and filling in the spa continue >>

Cultured Pearls

A pearl created by a pearl farmer under controlled conditions. A pearl is formed when the mantle tissue is injured by a parasite, an attack of a fish or another event that damages continue >>

Decorative Arts

A collective term to describe embellished or adorned objects, such as ceramics, enamels, furniture, glass, metalwork, and textiles, especially when used as interior decoration. Tra continue >>

Isadora Duncan

(1878 – 1927) An American dancer trained by Loie Fuller who performed to great acclaim throughout Europe. She is said to have originated Modern Dance. From an early age she t continue >>

 

École Des Beaux Art

Referring to a number of influential French School’s of Fine Art. The most famous is the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts which has trained artists for continue >>

École Nationale Des Arts Décoratifs

The National School of Decorative Arts in Paris has its roots in the Royal Free School of Art (École royale gratuite de dessin) founded in 1766 by Jean-Jacques Bachelier. It continue >>

Edwardian

In the United Kingdoms, a period marked by reign of King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910. The new monarch brought an end to the strict divisions of the Victorian era and ushered in a continue >>

En Tremblant

French meaning “to tremble” used to describe jewelry with a trembling effect produced when the wearer moved. Mostly used on brooches, en tremblant pieces incorporated t continue >>

 

Etruscan Jewelry

Produced by the Etruscan civilization that occupied northwestern Italy from 950 to 300 BCE before the rise of Rome. Made by highly skilled artisans Etruscan jewelry is primarily go continue >>

Exposition Universelle 1900

A World’s Fair held in Paris to celebrate the achievements of the past century and accelerate those of the present. The Art Nouveau style was universally present throughout t continue >>

Favrile

Derived from the Old English word “Fabrile” meaning hand made, Tiffany adjusted the term to the more elegant sounding “favrile.” Patented by Louis Comfort T continue >>

Fine Arts

Also known as the “High Arts” or “Major Arts” traditionally painting, sculpture, drawing, and engraving are classified as Fine Arts. The term usually denote continue >>

 

Fin de Siècle

French term meaning “end of the century” used during the twentieth century to describe the art of the 1890’s, most notably Art Nouveau and Aestheticism. It connot continue >>

Loie Fuller

1862-1928)
An American dancer who had great success throughout France and a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting. Her scarf dances were illuminated by multi-colored continue >>

Gilded Age

In American history, the Gilded Age refers to substantial growth in population in the United States and extravagant displays of wealth and excess of America's upper class during th continue >>

Gilt

The coating of a fine layer of gold, usually gold leaf or gold plate on a surface. Techniques include hand application, chemical gilding, and electroplating. continue >>

 

Gesamtkunstwerk

A German term used to describe a “total work of art” that use of a variety of art forms. The term can be used to describe certain buildings such as Victor Horta’s continue >>

Gothic Revival

Primarily an architectural movement which began in the 1740s in England. Its popularity grew rapidly in the early nineteenth century, when designers sought to revive medieval forms continue >>

Historicism

The use of styles, ornamentation, and motifs from the past (e.g, rococo, baroque, classical), often in eclectic combination, especially in architecture. continue >>

Iridescent Glass

Iridescence is an optical phenomenon of surfaces in which hue changes in correspondence with the angle from which a surface is viewed.This phenomenon occurs naturally in glass whic continue >>

 

Invisible Setting

A channel setting using calibrated stones without any metal showing from the top. The “Mystery Setting”, patented between 1934 and 1936 by Van Cleef & Arpels consis continue >>

Japonisme

A French term also spelled Japonism, used to describe the influence of Japanese Arts on those of the West. First used by Jules Claretie in the book L’Art Francais in 1872. We continue >>

Jugendstil

Sometime synonymous with the term Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, meaning “Youth Style” in German, got its name from the magazine Jugend that first promoted the style. In the continue >>

Gustav Klimt

1862- 1918)
An Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession. Klimt's primary subject was the female body and his works are marked b continue >>

 

L'art dansTout

A French term meaning “Art in Everything” used to express the idea that artistic design should permeate all aspects of life, from grand buildings to commercial biscuit continue >>

Lavaliere

A chain from which an ornament or gemstone hangs in the center. Popular in the Edwardian era. continue >>

Stéphane Mallarmé

1842 -1898)
A French symbolist poet who inspired many musical and visual artists of his time. Mallarmé's poetry most notably inspired Claude Debussy's Prélude &a continue >>

Marquetry

The craft of covering a structural carcass with pieces of veneer forming decorative patterns, designs or pictures. At the height of its use in late 17th century France, fine furnit continue >>

 

Martelé

The term Martelé is derived from the French word “to hammer” and underscores the significance placed on superior craftsmanship and innovative design. A decorativ continue >>

Memorial Jewelry

A jewel or jewelry that is made in memory of a loved one, often containing hair from that person and frequently decorated with enamel. Popular during the Georgian, and especially G continue >>

Minaudière

A woman’s small hard vanity case or handbag, usually metal or wood, sometimes highly decorated, which is held in the hand. Popularized by Van Cleff & Arpels in 1930 when continue >>

Modernism

Modernism is an encompassing label for a wide variety of cultural movements. As an art movement it is characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innova continue >>

 

William Morris

1834-1896)
An English textile designer, artist, writer, socialist and Marxist associated with the English Arts and Crafts Movement. His chief contribution to the arts was as a continue >>

Negligee Necklace

A long necklace that usually terminates in irregular length with tassels or drops. Popular during the Edwardian era. continue >>

Old European Cut

A cut of diamond developed sometime after the old mine cut. The old European cut had a shallower pavilion, more rounded shape, and different arrangement of facets. It was the forer continue >>

Onyx

A cryptocrystalline form of quartz. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color, except blue and purple. Commonly, specimens of onyx available contain bands of c continue >>

 

Opalescent Glass

Opalescent glass is a generalized term for clear and semi-opaque pressed glass, cloudy, marbled, and sometimes accented with subtle coloring all combining to form a milky opalescen continue >>

Paris Salon

Also known as Salon d'Apollon, it was an annual art exhibition of painting and sculpture by the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, later known as the Académie d continue >>

Parure

A suite of matching jewelry usually four or more pieces, a necklace, bracelets, earrings and belt or brooch. Common in the Georgian and Victorian era. Beyond various items of match continue >>

Pâte-De-Verre

An object made from a paste of ground or crushed glass which is caste into a mold and fired until solid. The advantage of pâte-de-verre is that it allows for precise placemen continue >>

 

Pâte-de-Cristal

A form of pâte-de-verre which has a translucent, crystalline aspect. continue >>

Patina

A film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period; or a sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquir continue >>

Place Vendome

A square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. The Place Vendôme has been f continue >>

Plique-a-Jour Enamel

French for "braid letting in daylight" where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing, so light can shine through the transparent continue >>

 

Pinchbeck

A gold simulant, invented circa 1720 by Christopher Pinchbeck, which is comprised of a mixture of copper and zinc. Used in Georgian and later jewelry, Pinchbeck was commonly substi continue >>

Reticulated Glass

Glass which has been blown into a metal armature which has apertures through which the glass may bulge out. Tiffany used the technique, and Daum executed a number of vases and bowl continue >>

Rococo

Style of 18th century French art and interior design. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and continue >>

Rose Cut

An antique type of diamond cut which gained popularity in the Georgian era. The basic rose cut has a flat base (no pavilion) and a crown composed of triangular facets (usually 12 o continue >>

 

John Ruskin

1819- 1900)
An English art critic and social thinker, also remembered as a poet and artist. His essays on art and architecture were extremely influential in the Victorian and continue >>

Sautoir

An extremely long neck chain, which falls below the waistline and terminates with a tassel or pendant. Popular in the early 20th century, notably the Edwardian and Art Deco eras. continue >>

Symbolism

A late nineteenth-century art movement of French and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the movement had its roots in Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire. continue >>

Turtle Back

A type of glass tile manufactured by Tiffany Studios made in translucent iridescent glass in various colors and sizes. The tiles were often used in decorative and bases in leaded-l continue >>

 

Diana Vreeland

1903-1989)
A noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion. She worked for the fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan M continue >>

Vitrification

Glass transition or vitrification refers to the transformation of a glass-forming liquid into a glass, which usually occurs upon rapid cooling. It is a dynamic phenomenon occurring continue >>

Whiplash Curve

Curved, flowing lines. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall-hanging Cyclamen described it as “sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a wh continue >>

Wheel-Carving

Curved, flowing lines. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall-hanging Cyclamen described it as “sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a wh continue >>

 

Oscar Wilde

(1854 – 1900) Irish poet, playwright, and wit allied with the aesthetic movement. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversation Wilde had become one continue >>

 

Jewelry Periods

Georgian

1710’s-1830’s
Various styles were propagated throughout the period. Named “Georgian” after the four English kings, George I- George IV, who reigned du continue >>

Victorian

1830’s- 1900’s
The Victorian era, so named after Queen Victoria the longest reigning British monarch who ruled from 1837 to 1901, marked an era of prosperity and continue >>

Art Nouveau

1890 - 1914
Coinciding with “La Belle Époque” in France and the Late Victorian Period in England, Art Nouveau was a style intended to stand against the ind continue >>

Edwardian

1901-1910
After the death of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and his Queen, Alexandria, ascended the throne of England and brought a cosmopolitan update to society, fashion and je continue >>

 

Art Deco

1920-1939
“Art Deco” as a term was coined in 1960 by art historian Bevis Hillier to describe the movement known as Style Moderne. The distinctive style of the 192 continue >>

Retro

1935-1950
The Retro jewelry period, or Cocktail jewelry as it is sometimes called, took place during World War II. As a reaction to the dire world conflict, jewelry became bo continue >>

Mid-Century

1940’s-1960’s
Modernism was the main influence of the Mid-Century period. After the war Retro jewelry and Victorian designs continued to influence jewelry trends, continue >>

 
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