Art Nouveau was a new aesthetic arising around the turn of the 20th century which developed through the close examination of natural forms.
Followers of the movement saw art and design as part of everyday life and in ordinary objects. Jewelry was especially receptive to these ideas focusing its dependence on aesthetics rather than on costly gemstone content.
Fabricated by the firm of Whiteside & Blank, one of the players in the national jewelry center of Newark, New Jersey, this flower motif brooch of 14k yellow gold shows the use of intricate curvilinear patterns using sensuous asymmetrical lines.
Centered around an natural freshwater seed pearl, iridescent delicate hued enamels paint a realistic and lyrical iris flower. Textured gold in almost ribbon-like form make up the stem and leaf in perfect harmony.
A resurgence in enameling arose, particularly in the pastel shades and lent itself to the embellishment of flora and fauna so often the inspiration of the period.