About Retro Jewelry
The Retro era in jewelry dated to the 1930-40s. These ten years brought us a distinct look that has been highly admired through the years.
During the World War II the entire world was changing, and jewelry world was under the influence as well. For instance, bracelets were often designed by using the geometry of tank treads. In order to confront that brutality, for some of the pieces jewelers reinstated Victorian floral motifs in a romantic and even fragile way. That approach resulted in a vast variety of brooches. Butterflies, flowers, starbursts, birds, and animals flooded jewelry market during retro era.
Some of the materials — such as platinum — were hard to find and even forbidden to be sold. That’s why retro jewelry was often made of yellow, rose and even green gold alloys.
Shortage of gemstones forced jewelers to use semi-precious stones: citrine, aquamarine, amethyst. Pave technique allowed to achieve a big look with little diamonds. Another sign of that time was enamel that was used to accentuate the stone or even replace it.
About French Jewelry
Vintage French jewelry is highly valued by jewelry experts and enthusiasts. Since the late Renaissance, France has established itself as one of the world trendsetters in art and fashion. A quick look at the top 5 French jewelry companies — Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermes, Chaumet, Chanel — describes the French level of greatness.
How did France go on the top of the jewelry world’s hierarchy? In a nutshell, it started with French apprenticeship system. In the beginning of 1950s, in France anyone at the age 14 could start learning the craft. Learning was primarily hands-on, with apprentices assisting in various stages of jewelry creation under the guidance of their mentors. They would start with basic tasks and gradually progress to more complex ones as their skills improved. This way French jewelers, like no others in the world, gained a substantial portion of experience at the early age. Even non-designer jewels were produced by the highly skilled masters.
The 1950s was a period when various design movements, such as Art Deco and the beginning of the Mid-Century Modern era, influenced jewelry aesthetics. Apprentices would be exposed to these design trends and learn to adapt their skills to create pieces reflecting these styles. The Masters passed down not only technical skills but also their values, ethics, and artistic sensibilities.
Modern jewelry is not handcrafted anymore, and mass market oriented production is prevailing. Jewelry designs are streamlined to use as little hand labor as possible. That’s why today vintage French jewelry is in such high demand. Nadine Krakov Collection offers the most desirable vintage jewelry online made by French experts.