Beverly R Blog

At present the antique jewelry industry due to the pandemic is also in lock down, even antique and art deco engagement ring sales have virtually disappeared as couples postpone wedding plans. Antique jewelry by its very name makes one think of history of times past, so for this blog we are going to take this current recession, and look back in history and see what happened in what at the time was the worst financial and social crisis of the twentieth century. The crash of the 1930's. In America in the wake of the stock market crash, more antique jewelry changed hands than ever before. Unlike previous periods when antique jewelry was given up or sold due to changing lifestyles, or at this period wartime needs, these precious pieces of vintage and estate jewelry were sold to buy necessities. They went to banks to pay loans, art deco and antique engagement rings went to the pawnbrokers and auctioneers. These precious antiques not only flooded in from the private sector, but even a lot of antique jewelry businesses which were also in financial distress.With this huge stock both the banks and the auction houses sold these antique jewelry pieces, and engagement rings at very much below the market value.

Antique Jewelers' in Europe were also struggling, so many were unprepared for the stock market crash of 1929. Having so many debts out standing the art Deco and Antique jewelry with this failing economy had slowed both sales and production. The Christmas season of 1929 was not the lucrative one that had been foreseen before the October crash of both the New York and European stock market. Many of the big antique jewelry retail shops and stores were forced to lay off staff in the New Year, since orders for antique jewelry did not materialize, and antique and Art Deco engagement ring sales which had been pending were cancelled. Yet Art Deco jewelry continued to be manufactured, and a new style was emerging.

The geometric, cubist and archeological revival styles of the 1920's  had become outdated, and had also become associated with too many painful and unhappy memories. Two dimensional jewelry became out of date, along with solid expanses of gems with special lapidary work were not only no longer in favor, but also not economically feasible.

Now, Art Deco jewelry relied on empty spaces as much as gem design and patterning to achieve a bold impressive look, with these empty spaces also representing financial savings. Art Deco diamond pendant earrings also continued to evolve, becoming wider and dangling like chandeliers. The plaque - a popular necklace motif in Art Deco and earlier antique jewelry, became longer broader, and more open, the same could also be seen in the Art Deco brooches. Both the early Art Deco pieces, along with these later Art Deco styles of jewelry can be found at Beverley R Jewelry in Chicago Illinois.

Also at this time period ladies fashions were changing there was a new emphasis on a curvaceous silhouette for ladies. The contemporary dress styles for this Art Deco period were long. luxurious and very feminine, with a distinctive widening and broadening of the shoulder and neckline.This change in fashion also affected jewelry design, and in the 1930's we see the prominence of Art Deco clip brooches. These pieces of jewelry had a traditional pin fitment, but could also be separated in to two individual pieces of Art Deco jewelry attaching to dresses by a clip fitment which gripped fabric with a hinged mechanism. This not only had the added advantage of doing less damage to dress fabric, but also meant the clips could be placed anywhere along the bodice. Ladies also became quite creative in their positioning of these Art Deco pieces. The separated clips became one of the most versatile pieces of jewelry ever invented, they were even known to be placed on the ends of sleeves,or on the tops of the long gloves and hats that were very popular in this Art Deco period.

At Beverly R Jewelry here in downtown Chicago, we have a large selection of these original versatile Art Deco clips in stock for the lady who wants to enhance her wardrobe with something a little different, and enabling her to achieve manifold effects with a single jewel.

The depression had meant that people had to sell their jewelry out of economic necessity, but if there was any improvement in their circumstances, they replaced their jewelry with multi-purpose pieces.

This pandemic is not going to last forever. States are slowly starting to lift restrictions and open up. As this happens here at Beverley R Jewelry, we have many versatile pieces from not just the Art Deco period, but other antique periods as well, which are convertible, not just Art Deco clips, but necklaces that convert in to two bracelets, earrings which can be worn during the day, but have attachments that mean they can be worn for the dinner party as well. So if you are looking for something to not only bring some sparkle to your life, but also be very wearable please come and visit us Beverley R fine and antique Jewelry purveyors on Walton Place, Chicago Illinois.

1/ Art Deco, Platinum, Emerald, Onyx & Diamond Chinoiserie Brooch
2/ Art Deco, Platinum & Diamond openwork Brooch

3/ Art Deco, Platinum & Diamond Double Clip/Brooch

4/ Art Deco, Platinum & Diamond openwork Pendant