Lately, you may have seen various tweets comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the Spanish flu of 1918. But despite the astronomical death tolls of both, these comparisons are excitedly hopeful rather than macabre in nature. What we can hope for, apparently, is our own Roaring Twenties – the period of cultural and economic prosperity that followed Spanish flu – in the aftermath of Coronavirus. While these claims are substantiated by the social epidemiologist and Yale professor Dr Nicholas Christakis in his book Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live, there are others who are wary. After all, the fruits of the Roaring Twenties itself were the Great Depression and, eventually, the Second World War. Still, if there’s one thing we are keen to embrace from this era, it’s Art Deco jewellery.
Unsurprisingly, it's jewellery in the Art Deco style. Popularised in the 1920s (the name is a shortened version of ‘arts décoratifs’ from the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925), Art Deco combined distinctive geometric form and bold colour – amongst other things – to create an aesthetic that matched the exuberance and innovation of the time.
Although Claire Choisne, creative director of Boucheron, delved into the house’s Art Deco archive to create their latest High Jewellery collection, Art Deco jewellery has become subtler in the century that’s passed. But whether you like yours as muted as a pair of Isabel Bonner earrings or as ostentatious as a Shay ring, that's not to say it's any less glamorous.