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16 March 2020Decadence and Dreams: Jewellery from around 190
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Decadence and Dreams: Jewellery from around 190 Clare Phillips Monday 16 March 2020

The decades around 1900 witnessed a fascinating variety of styles and produced some of the most elegant pieces of jewellery ever made.  Diamonds and pearls - the mainstay of European court jewellery - were arranged in garlands and ribbon bows of incredible delicacy.  At the same time this symmetry was challenged by the sinuous lines of Art Nouveau, and the ‘one colour theory’ long practised in European jewellery was undermined by a fascination with unusual gemstones and a more luxuriant sense of colour.

The lecture will explore the distinctive styles of great jewellers such as Cartier, Fabergé, Tiffany and Lalique, and examine also the contribution of Britain’s Arts and Crafts Movement with its celebration of traditional craftsmanship, unfaceted stones and hand-beaten metals.