A flexible bracelet composed of geometric decoration of rectangular diamonds in stepped triangular groupings on a pave-set field demarcated by bands of square, rectangular, and round diamonds, edged by a rounded border set with round and rectangular diamonds; mounted in platinum, with French assay marks
- Signed Boucheron Paris
- Reproduction of original photograph
- Length: 61⁄2 inches
L’Officiel de la Mode,, no. 184, 1936, p. 90.
Frédéric Boucheron opened his Paris jewelry salon in 1858 at the Palais Royal. In 1893, Boucheron was the first jeweler to move to Place Vendôme, at number 26, where they still operate today. From the beginning, Boucheron was known for groundbreaking work. His creativity, and that of his son Louis, earned accolades at international exhibitions including the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. The house remained in the family until acquired by Gucci Group in 2000. Today, Boucheron has thirty-four shops around the globe selling perfume, watches, and jewelry.
The rectilinear precepts of the Art Deco period reached fruition in the late 1920s when diamonds on all-white jewelry were fashioned into new shapes. Whereas traditional square and round diamonds had held sway, now the stones were shaped into geometric forms such as the baguette shapes on this bracelet. While today a bracelet such as this is worn singularly, in the late 1920s and 1930s all-diamond flexible bracelets were worn in multiples of up to four or five to enhance the emerging style of the sleeveless dress. Editorials and advertisements in Vogue from this period feature models sporting multiples of such bracelets on their wrists and a 1936 editorial from L’Officiel de la Mode shows this bracelet stacked with another diamond example from Boucheron.
The principal motifs in Art Deco jewelry design were simple geometric forms such as the square, circle, rectangle, and triangle. These shapes were often juxtaposed or overlapped to create complex linear configurations. Abstract patterns, derived from the architecture of ancient civilizations, such as Babylonian ziggurats and stepped Mayan and Aztec temples, found their way into jewelry design as seen on this bracelet. Rectangular-cut diamonds are arranged in a pattern that resembles the outlines of Mesoamerican pyramids such as the famous Mayan example of Chichén Itzá. The field of round diamonds softens the angularity of the hard edges with the barrel-like border serving as a frame for this modernist design.
To make a statement, a piece of jewelry must be bold not only in size but also in design. The four-part configuration of this bracelet, with panels of alternating directions of the pyramidal formation, is a striking example of jewelry as a work of art.