Diamond tiara from 19th century © Chaumet
A flower is a metaphor for a woman, and has been used by jewellers throughout the ages:
- In the early 19th century, during the naturalist movement when realism was gathering momentum over romanticism, through the Victorian period, jewellers such as Mellerio and Chaumet created pieces in the form of roses and violets, sometimes mounting them on mobile stems so that the slightest movement would make them sway.
Art nouveau was also heavily inspired by flowers. Celebrated jeweller René Lalique used orchids for inspiration during this period, using enamel to recreate the velvety striped petals of the exotic, mysterious and almost terrifyingly beautiful orchid.
Even during the art deco movement in the 1930s, when geometric shapes were all the rage, there were always flowers. Later on, in the 1950s, the trend was for flower bouquet brooches.