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Black & Gold…the story told
Black and Gold….a classic combination and one that has long been associated with luxury and elegance.
In this blog we look at history of Black and Gold colour palette, and it’s growing popularity in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. We travel from to Egypt, to Japan and back to Europe, to explain why we were so inspired to create a jewellery collection from Black and Gold!
It always starts with the Gold
Gold jewellery has been associated with wealth and prestige for thousands of years.
Showing you could afford to wear a piece of gold jewellery for ‘mere’ ornamental purposes was to make a statement of your status in society.
Of course, the other side of this was a practical one… it was useful to be able to carry your wealth on your person and, if ever needed, spend it like coin!
You can read more about the use of jewellery as means of payment in our blog Earrings, earrings, earrings.
…but needless to say adding a splash of gold to any piece of jewellery or other ornamentation gives it a stunning luxurious feel.
What about the Black?
It was in the late 1800s/early 1900s that the trend for combining gold (and other metallics) with ‘pure’ shades (like reds, blues, greens and of course, black!) really took off in Europe.
It was seen in buildings, art, furniture, interior design and jewellery.
Why? Well, 2 reasons – or 2 ‘obsessions’ – of the Art Nouveau/Art Deco periods…’Egyptianism’ and ‘Japonisme’.
The obsession with all this Egyptian hit fever pitch in the 1920s following Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tutenkhamun’s tomb.
Egyptian-esque paintings, vases, statues and jewellery became ‘must-haves’ for the rich.
The beautiful Egyptian-esque Cartier clock below is a lovely example of this trend made to look like an Egytian tomb or arch.
The ‘Japonisme’ concept originated in France (‘Japonisme’ means the popularity and influence of Japanese art and design in Europe).
It started in the mid-1800s when Japan loosened it strict policy of sakoku (“closed country”) and an increasing number of Europeans and Americans started to visit Japan. European artists, especially in France, were particularly taken with the Japanese style of art, which they were seeing for the first time and started to replicate.
Over the years this led to a fashion for ‘chic parisien-style’ Japanese-esque art, clothing, and jewellery.
The example above of Paul Poiret’s Art Deco kimono-style cloak is a perfect example of this trend.
Black and Gold colour palette
Both Egyptian and Japanese design often combined metallics with with ‘pure’ shades (like reds, blues, greens and black).
So the ‘Egyptianism’ and ‘Japonism’ obsessions in Europe led to a trend for gold paired with reds, blues, greens and black.
This reached the height of popularity in the Art Deco era (1920s-1930s).
Indeed, much of what we think, when we think of Art Deco today, revolves around these colour combinations…and black and gold are one of the most recognisable.
We can still see so many examples of it today in buildings, interior design and jewellery from that time.
The Black Edit Collection
When designing new jewellery collections at FiorSó we often find ourselves drawn to the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. And The Black Edit Collection is no different!
We’ve taken the historic trend in those eras for the Black and Gold colour palette and turned it into gorgeous earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets just for you. Enjoy!
Shop our Black Edit Collection.
If you’re interested, you can read our other blogs about our:
Ancient Jewelry Finds a Modern Fan Base – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
History of gold (onlygold.com)
Color in Ancient Egypt – World History Encyclopedia
How Japonisme Forever Changed the Course of Western Design – The New York Times (nytimes.com)