Art Deco Decadence

An expression of the decorative arts of Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco is characterised by the sophistication of the era, embracing geometric shapes together with sleek, streamlined, symmetrical forms, and playful, exotic, decorative patterns. When asked ‘What is Art Deco?’ one world-authority on the topic, Alastair Duncan, explained that ‘for the devotees of Art Deco: they know it when they see it’.

An artistic movement with French origins, the Art Deco movement ultimately stems from the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, held in Paris in 1925.  However, the term ‘Art Deco’ was only actually coined in the 1960s, arguably originating in a 1968 book on the topic by Bevis Hillier. In the decades since its inception, the popularity of Art Deco has not ceased and is a style which continues to prove popular whether in the world of fashion, furniture, works of art or jewellery. Popular pieces range from the little to the large, encompassing both the dramatic and the more subtle.

April looks set to be an excellent month for Art Deco, with a variety of impressive pieces appearing in a range of specialist auctions at McTear’s, with stunning rings, spectacular furniture, figures and works of art in the Art Deco style. Off to a strong start, the Jewellery Auction on 8 April boasted a variety of stunning Art Deco pieces.

This auction certainly proved that the popularity of colourful gems is undebatable, with lot 73 featuring a gorgeous diamond and blue gem set ring in the Art Deco style, achieving a cool £340. A beautiful amethyst and diamond dress ring, at lot 212, will make a colourful addition to the lucky buyer’s hand, snapped up for a hammer price of £200. Ultimately stealing the show on Sunday, an especially striking diamond solitaire ring in the Art Deco style featured at lot 4, the round brilliant cut diamond of approximately 7.50 carats. This stunning solitaire achieved an impressive hammer price of £25,000. 

If you’re keen to invest in a little Art Deco yourself, keep a look out for the follow-up blog with a rundown of McTear’s top Art Deco picks for April!

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