Art Nouveau refers to a style of jewelry favoring a free flowing, elaborately curved style that was a radical departure from the Victorian era.
The Art Nouveau period was popular from the 1890’s until 1910.Art Nouveau designers were influenced by nature and subsequently gave organic shape and life to jewelry. Jewelry often combined inexpensive gemstones and other materials. Some of the finest designs from this period featured elaborate enameling. This approach was particularly effective when depicting insect wings or landscapes. Japanese influences are seen in designs. The female face and body was often the subject of interpretation. Other favorite motifs include dragonflies, butterflies, snakes, peacocks and mythical creatures. Irises, poppies, water lilies and vines likewise are part of the repertoire of Art Nouveau.
In the United States the Art Nouveau movement was commercialized in die stamped relief designs. Typical motifs were women’s faces with flowing hair and flowers. Tiffany and Co. and Marcus & Co. produced beautify enameled and gemstone set Art Nouveau jewelry comparable with the finest of the European artists.