This precious French Art Nouveau brooch from around 1900 seems to be plucked straight out of one of the Elysian fields in the Garden of Eden.
An 18K yellow gold ginkgo branch sprouts upwards in so many layers that it almost breaks through its platinum framework of 54 rose cut diamonds. This vivid ambience is even more intensified with a hint of green colour on top of the warm yellow leaves.
What better way to celebrate life than with this symbol of longevity and endurance.
Antique jewelry object group: brooch
Condition: excellent condition
- (more info on our condition scale)
Country of origin: France
Style: Art Nouveau - Art Nouveau (French for New Style) is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art - especially the decorative arts - that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905).
The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". It is also known as Jugendstil, German for "youth style", named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, and in Italy, Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style, and in Holland as “Sla-olie-stijl”, Dutch for “salad oil style” after a advertisement poster for this product that was made in that style.
A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life. Although Art Nouveau fell out of favour with the arrival of 20th-century modernist styles, it is seen today as an important bridge between the historicism of Neoclassicism and modernism.
- See also: Art Nouveau or more info on styles
Style specifics: Art Nouveau - Although Art Nouveau took on distinctly localised tendencies as its geographic spread increase some general characteristics are indicative of the form. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall-hanging Cyclamen (1894) described it as "sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a whip", which became well known during the early spread of Art Nouveau.
Subsequently, not only did the work itself become better known as The Whiplash, but the term "whiplash" is frequently applied to the characteristic curves employed by Art Nouveau artists. Such decorative "whiplash" motifs, formed by dynamic, undulating, and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm, are found throughout the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design.(from: Wikipedia)
Period: ca. 1900
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Source of inspiration: Mother Nature
Theme: Ginkgo biloba leaves (a typical Art Nouveau motive, see further in text)
Material: 18K yellow gold and platinum
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Extra information: Ginkgo biloba - a hardy tree commonly found along city streets, is considered a “living fossil.” It is closely related to prehistoric ancestors, but has no relatives today. Native to China, it figures prominently in Asian art as well as the Art Nouveau movement (late nineteenth century). Ancient Chinese artists often depicted the Buddha’s Dragon Tree as a ginkgo. Chinese monks brought the ginkgo to Japan, where it was widely planted in temple gardens. In Japanese decorative art, the ginkgo’s distinctive fan-shaped leaf has carried symbolism along with its singular beauty: the ginkgo has been a symbol of longevity (the tree can live for a thousand years) and of a more profound endurance (four ginkgos survived the blast at Hiroshima and are still growing today).
In the mid-nineteenth century, the opening of Japan to western trade set off a craze for “all one sees that’s Japanese,” as a rhyme by W. S. Gilbert puts it—a craze both spoofed and exemplified in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Japanese decorative ideas, including ginkgo-leaf patterns, were later adopted by artists and architects working in the Art Nouveau style, a forerunner of Art Deco.
Art historian Paul Johnson defined Art Nouveau as an attempt “to soften the implacable advance of machinery by giving it, whenever possible, organic forms which expressed theeternal growth-cycle of nature.”
(From the Smithsonian Eduction Site)
Diamond(s): 54 (!) rose cut diamonds. We do not have the weight of the diamonds which is normal in our trade when it comes to rose cuts.
Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April.
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Hallmarks: The French control mark for 18K gold representing an eagle's head that was in use in France from about 1838.
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Dimensions: diameter 2,56 cm (1,01 inch)
Weight: 5,00 gram (3,21 dwt)
Reference Nº: 18082-0024
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
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