The Art Deco Era (1920-1939) was defined by certain distinguishing characteristics when it came to jewelry design. Below, I am going to list the most common themes, influences or motifs.
New advances in architecture created more streamlined and bold forms which were influential to Art Deco jewelry
GIARDINETTI (‘Little Garden’)
‘Giardinetti’ (from the Italian, meaning ‘little garden’) was another continuing theme. A giardinetti piece had tiny flowers arranged in a vase, pot or basket, usually made from precious stones. Also stylized flowers without vases or pots or baskets were often seen.
They had been popular since the Georgian era, but now had a decidedly Art Deco style.
There was another, and perhaps most popular, Egyptian Revival movement in the Art Deco era.
Bold and geometric designs were characteristic of the era.
Abstract art (Cubistism, Constructivists and Futurists, Suprematism from Russia, Dutch de-Stijl and African primative) was highly influential.
Cars, machinery and machine parts were influential motifs
These consisted of hands, animals, birds, ladybirds, bouquets of flowers, cartoon characters and other novelty items
Chinese and Japanese motifs and styles were popular, as well as Arabesque themes
Bow motifs continued to be popular
Native American design was influential, in particular giving rise to long, woven sautoir necklaces.
Further reading / resources: