A Passion for Art Deco
At Ronald Abram, we’ve long been a collector of Art Deco jewellery, seeking out the finest pieces from this iconic design era to share with our clients. Alongside highly sought-after signed pieces by the most revered jewellery houses of the time, we’re also inspired to collect from independent designers and workshops who thrived in the 1920s and 30s as they set about quietly crafting some of the period’s most breathtaking jewels.
From the Personal Collection of Coco Chanel
Among the 20th century’s most famous jewellery connoisseurs and collectors, Gabrielle Coco Chanel first discovered renowned Venetian jewellery house, Codognato on a trip to Venice in the 1920s. Founded in 1866 and still trading today from the same boutique and workshop close to the Piazza San Marco, the house’s daring creations included Moretto brooches that never failed to fascinate clients.
This important, signed Venetian Moretto brooch is a special piece of history that was part of Coco Chanel’s personal collection. Depicting a Moorish figure with a carved ebony wood face, the design is embellished with sculptured amber, brilliant cut diamonds and a carved emerald weighing more than 180 carats. Adding to its significance, this magnificent piece comes with a copy of a Codognato invoice that establishes this jewel was purchased by the French fashion designer.
Rare jewels with impeccable provenance are core to our estate collection at Ronald Abram.
Art Deco Brooch
Carved gems are a signature of Art Deco jewellery, with the French maison, Cartier playing a significant role in making these opulent, colourful stones fashionable in Europe. In 1911, Jacques Cartier – one of founder Louis-Francois Cartier’s three sons – travelled to India to source gems, and was so inspired by what he saw that he introduced carved gemstones into the Cartier collection.
Crafted circa 1925, the certificate of authenticity that accompanies this carved tourmaline Cartier brooch, places its creation at the same time the maison’s stonecutters were carving gems for its legendary Tutti Frutti jewels. However, what makes this particular brooch so outstanding is the quality of the carving – a portrait of a young lady in profile, the sweep of her hair clearly visible. The stone is a semi-precious tourmaline, a much softer gem than the sapphires and rubies that defined the Tutti Frutti style, and would have required extreme skill to hand-carve it with such detail.
Art Deco Pendant
by Georges Lenfant
Linear designs feature prominently in the Ronald Abram estate collection. Not only do they resonate with our clients, they also reflect the brand’s aesthetic, with its focus on symmetry, proportion and colour.
JJ and Ronald were immediately drawn to this Georges Lenfant pendant, which features two doves, messengers of peace and love, depicted in diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Displaying a striking combination of colour, strong lines and faultless goldwork, this breathtaking, modernist piece earned Lenfant a cult following among collectors. Considered an unsung hero among 20th century French jewellers, his exquisite craftsmanship is both celebrated and revered.
Art Deco clip Brooch
Emeralds and diamonds are a quintessential Ronald Abram pairing and this Art Deco clip brooch by Boucheron captures why this combination is so alluring. Originally acquired on Place Vendôme in 1930, this jewel, like the Georges Lenfant pendant, is softly linear in shape, accentuated by rows of calibré cut emeralds – a newly introduced gemstone cut of the era.
Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, together with the original sketches of the brooch from the maison’s archives, this clip brooch embodies the purity and symmetry of Art Deco lines and is a magnificent example of the Boucheron style during this period.
Temple de l’Amour brooch by Tiffany & Co.
Just three years earlier, circa 1927, Tiffany & Co. was also experimenting with the new stone cuts that had only recently been developed by designers, including the baguette cut. With its rectangular shape and long, step-cut facets, its architectural beauty lent itself perfectly to the house’s Temple de l'Amour brooches, an homage to the Temple de l'Amour in the gardens of the Château de Versailles.
Chateau de Versailles Temple de l'Amour
Described in the November 1927 edition of Vogue as striking “a distinctive note in modern jewellery”, this exceptional brooch, signed Tiffany & Co, France and presented with a certificate of authenticity, reimagines the Temple de l'Amour in round, baguette cut and trapezoid diamonds, with the beaded milgrain detailing surrounding the stones typical of the era.
Maynier et Pinçon diamond brooch
Rounding out our latest estate acquisitions is this extraordinary Maynier et Pinçon diamond brooch, featuring a scrolling design emblematic of the horn pattern on the gilded doors of the Ronald Abram boutique.
A small, independent workshop in Paris that, like Georges Lenfant, was notable for its exceptional craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, Maynier et Pinçon also played a vital role in creating jewels for established brands.
Set with a large diamond at the centre, overlaying a row of calibré cut diamonds, its geometric lines give way to extravagant diamond swirls – a motif closely associated with the Art Deco era that features prominently in the Ronald Abram estate collection.