The Art Nouveau era's style caused a shift away from the contemporaneous Victorian and Edwardian jewelry. Perhaps the most stark contrast was the use of abstract versus realism in the work.
Jewelers of this era felt compelled to incorporate the natural world into their designs. Typical themes employed intertwined flowers or stems, rebellious forms of nature or stylized symbolism. Enamel no longer relegated to touches of color, often just black or deep blue, but instead became a vibrant medium unto itself.
The vermeil (silver over gold) pendant illustrated here resembles a decorated panel from ancient Egypt or a stained glass window. Rendered using the enameling technique of plique-a-jour, the composition created represents a stylized lotus flower with small papyrus leaves fanning out against the background.
With no backing to the piece, light shines through the palette of translucent colors of cobalt blue, brick red, verdant green and golden yellow. Suspended from the bottom, a trio of Mississippi freshwater dog tooth pearls drape from articulated twisted silver wire.
Chain for illustration purposes.