Retro

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As can be imagined, the Second World War significantly affected the jewellery world. Many workshops were drastically reduced as men either volunteered or were conscripted to their country’s army, industrial areas were heavily bombed in Germany and England, jewellery house archives were lost or destroyed, precious gemstones became harder to source and precious metals were heavily taxed. In France the sale of gold was banned altogether and it was necessary for a client to supply the entire quantity needed to create a jewel. As the influence of the Art Deco style began to evolve, coupled with the absence of platinum during the war, yellow gold began to dominate. By 1937 the previous flatter white gold/ platinum monopoly was well and truly over and the era of voluminous curves and scrolls began. One of the staples of the new jewellery trend became wide bold sculptural bracelets, often inspired by the tanks and machinery that had been seen during the war, usually in a lower carat or pink gold and with hollow links to minimise the quantity of the gold used. The lack of precious stones on the market meant that semi-precious stones, which had been neglected in the preceding decades, became popular, such as citrine, topaz, aquamarine and turquoise. The pave´-set diamond pieces of the 1920s and early 1930s were replaced with expanses of metal, a style that was quickly abandoned in the years following the war and didn’t see a return to vogue until the 1980s.