Art Nouveau was a period that is highly admired to this day. The era is often described as sensual, sexual, feminine and exotic. Styles previously considered vulgar and unsightly, were suddenly celebrated and enjoyed. The female form became the focus of many designs. Beautiful colours, textures and tones were used to create fabulous creations including botanical motifs, feathers and intricate scrolling designs. Materials used to create the jewels of this era, were chosen based on merit, beauty and artistic appreciation rather than their intrinsic value. This meant many gemstones that until this point hadn’t been considered as particularly desirable, for example peridot, amethysts, moonstone, enamel and ‘Pâte de Verre’ (moulded glass).
René Lalique had already earned recognition as one of France’s forefront jewellery designers in the late 1890’s, crafting extraordinary pieces for “Maison de l’Art Nouveau”. Not only did the name of this shop become synonymous with this period, Lalique went on to be the most celebrated in his field.