The Rise of the French Cut Gem in The Art Deco Era

In the 1920’s the ‘garconne’ look took over, with straight sheath style dresses of far shorter lengths than ever before, Sleeves, like hemlines, retracted or disappeared leaving arms a perfect site for adornment. Flexible or Line bracelets came to be de rigueur, stacked all the better! To compliment the bobs & slimline long drop earrings, sautoir necklaces & angular, finely detailed & starkly contrasting diamond & coloured stone rings. Brooches continued to be a focal point for ornament & could were worn in several places from cloche hat to waistband.

The French cut was the perfect match for these new jewels, so popular in the 1920’s, it appeared in sapphire, emeralds, rubies & sometimes in diamonds. As accent stones they were supremely effective at adding colour & contrast to other cuts. French cuts offer a more sculptural 3D shape with larger facets, but on angles which reflect off in many directions. This would only work with gems of excellent colour, light enough to bounce the light around & send its coloured sparkle out as much as possible. Used on watches, bracelets, brooches, rings & earrings being more lively than both the step cut or the carre, they brought to life the crisp & streamlined designs of the age.

Art Deco is primarily white jewellery. Platinum was still relatively new on the scene because it was unable to be worked prior to the end of the nineteenth century.

This piece is a quintessential Art Deco bracelet, its straight lines featuring angular French Cut sapphires set in platinum, millgrained & hand engraved with the colour palette of stark white metal against rich deep blue reminiscent of the gorgeous hoard of Tutankhamun’s treasure. It is sleek & elegant, in both materials & manufacture clearly of quality, easily worn & timeless.

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