Flowers have long been a source of inspiration for jewelers, many of whom have sought to capture their transient beauty in glittering gemstones and precious metals. In the 17th and 18th centuries, flowers were imitated in enamel or used as motifs for elaborate gemstone bodice ornaments. Brooches, pendants and rings took the form of bouquets or flower baskets. The stylized blooms of the Empire style were followed by the highly naturalistic blossoms of the later 19th century. Flowers continued to flourish in the sinuous shapes of Art Nouveau, the geometric designs of Art Deco and the sculptural simplicity of modernism, with great artists including René Lalique and Georges Fouquet constantly reworking nature's forms for their style-conscious clientele.
Now, contemporary designers such as Claude Lalanne, Lorenz Bäumer and JAR continue to create floral jewelry for today's trendsetters. The floral pieces in Flora: The Art of Jewelry have all been selected from the magnificent jewelry collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and range from the 17th century to the present day. Beautifully photographed by renowned photographer Jean-Marie del Moral, these intricate works of art will delight all lovers of jewelry and nature.