Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beaux Art Style Antique Jewelry

Recently I acquired the locket above. It fascinates me...the snakes and mythical looking creatures on it...So I began my research on mythical creatures. Using keywords like snakes, dragons, beast, sea serpents and wolfdragons. George Nathanial Steere and his company GNS CO. produced many fabulous pieces of jewelry in the Beaux Art style. Gorgeous antique jewelry!!!! A couple of years ago there was a site devoted to Mr. Steere and his jewelry, but unfortunately the site is no longer there. Sad because it was chock full of fantastic information! Besides learning of what a genius Mr. Steere was...I discovered a new term that had eluded me all of these years! Beaux Art Style. I have a house full of reference books on every era of jewelry...and am constantly doing research...yet somehow had never heard this term used. I always put these items...with mythical creatures and the Art Nouveau and Victorian periods. While the locket above has "some" elements that can be attributed to the Beaux Art style...such as the snakes and lions?...bears?..dogs?...the actual locket itself looks very Victorian. Originating in Paris, the Beaux Art style was a major influence on American architecture from the 1880s through the 1920s...and was totally embraced by the nouveau riche industrialist here in America. Featuring neoclassical designs that were very ornate...It found it's way into the mainstream of art, architecture...and yes jewelry! Below are some pieces that I own or have owned...that I thought I would share with you. Enjoy!

This is a close up of one of the cuff links below. Notice the details of the mythical sea serpent. I have also heard this design referred to as a dolphin.

These are absolutely gorgeous...and luckily...I have not parted with them!

They date to the 1880s. I acquired these beauties from a seller in the UK a few years ago.

This is a locket that I previously owned...featuring a winged dragon holding a shield in his mouth.

This is a man's watch fob...large faux amethyst with a snake. Heavy gold gilt.

This is just one of the strangest creatures that I have seen on a locket! A winged sea creature with a scorpion like tail. How would you like to meet up with this guy while boating!!!!!!!

Another gorgeous example of Beaux Art style...mermaids...or mermen. They look like an architectural detail that you would see on a turn of the century mansion. Or possibly figureheads on an old galleon.

And this fabulous locket...boohoo...boohoo...I am so sad that I parted with this piece! It was one of the most amazing lockets that I have ever owned! After reading the article on George N. Steere...I can almost...without a doubt...contribute this piece to his work! Note the green eye!

A side view of the locket. Look how detailed!

And Finally...this tiny clip. Sometimes this beast is referred to as a wolfdog. He looks fierce!!!! Maybe this will spark a new interest for you. Recently I have seen a few pieces listed on the internet as "Beaux Art style"...So keep your eyes may just find a treasure!

Happy Collecting!

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Wicked Darling