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The Art Nouveau style caused a dramatic shift in jewellery design, reaching a peak around when it triumphed at the Paris Exposition Universelle. Lalique was known as 'the admitted king of Paris fashions', and chose his materials for aesthetic effect and artistic refinement, not for mere preciousness or brilliance. Credited with introducing horn into the jewellery repertoire, he dazzled the public with a collection of ornamental combs made of horn.
They were moulded and sculpted in the shape of flowers, waves and butterflies.
Lalique's iris buckle demonstrates his mastery of silver. Irises were one of the most persistent motifs in Japanese art and this buckle is a fine example of the influence of Japan on Art Nouveau design. Lalique's irises are not only decorative but also give the piece its outline, which is created by extending the long leaves above the flowers and curling them over into a continuous line. For the next forty years, Lalique would become a master of crystal and glass and transform from an Art Nouveau jeweller to an Art Deco glass pioneer.
Philippe Wolfers was the most prestigious of the Art Nouveau jewellers working in Brussels. Enamelling in this manner is technically difficult to master, making Wolfers' designs even more impressive. Exotic orchids, like the one used for this hair ornament, were a symbol of the Art Nouveau movement and its practitioners' fascination with nature, sensuality and exotic flowers. Established in , Liberty's department store in London built its reputation on supplying artistic and unusual products.
In it launched a line of 'Cymric' jewellery, which drew on both the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles. Cymric jewellery featured sinuous lines, unusual gemstones and often appeared to be hand-beaten.
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Cymric jewellery was very popular. Its success was partly due to the innovation and talent of the designers and silversmiths employed by Liberty, including Archibald Knox and Oliver Baker. Knox was a designer and teacher from the Isle of Man, and was responsible for some of the Cymric range's most exceptional designs, particularly those based on Celtic interlace. Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your feedback. Edit Mode. Art Nouveau. Tips For Editing.
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