An unusual gilded brass tiara in the Art Nouveau style set with mother of pearl roundels
Ideal for the vintage bride who likes something different
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 1 ins h at centre front x 13 ins around the curve (2.5 x 33 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: brass, mother of pearl
Here is an unusual Art Nouveau style tiara, which dates from the period around the turn of the 20th century. It would make a wonderful headdress for a bride who likes something different!
This handsome ornament comprised a foundation of gilded brass which is made in a gentle curved shape, like a Greek or Roman diadem. It is ornamented with nine cabochons of mother of pearl.
The three pearl pieces in the centre front are placed in more elaborate mounts, with small floral elements forming a border around the collet setting. The pearl pieces at the sides are sunk into simpler settings.
The materials used by Art Nouveau practitioners were often very modest. Silver was the favourite metal for settings, although gold, copper and pewter were also used. Jewelry in this movement was set with semi-precious stones and materials such as opals, turquoises, amethysts, carnelians and moonstones. These gems were usually presented as cabochons – polished in a spherical form – rather than being cut into facets. They were combined with baroque and blister pearls, and such inexpensive materials as coral, mother or pearl and horn.
All these materials were imitated in a less expensive class of Art Nouveau jewellery which employed paste for semi-precious stones, and celluloid in place of tortoiseshell and ivory. The designs were also austere, and many jewels have a Celtic or Medieval feeling.
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