Item description for Art Deco Jewelry: Jakob Gengel, Idar-Oberstein/Germany by Christianne Weber...
A geometric language of forms, influenced by Cubism and the aesthetic of the machine, coloured plastic and chromium are synonymous with the Art D,co costume jewellery which was so popular in 1920s and 1930s Europe. Formerly classified by specialists as 'French jewellery', these Art D,co jewellery objects were actually made at the Jakob Bengel Chain and Bijouterie Wares Factory, founded in Idar-Oberstein in 1873! The jewellery produced by Bengel between 1931 and 1938 is distinguished by that of other makers by extraordinarily powerful innovation and a high degree of individuality. A mix of materials consisting of the coloured plastic Galalith and chromium-plated metal is handled with a playfully light touch. Bengel jewellery was exported world-wide. More than two hundred and fifty pieces of Bengel jewellery are superbly reproduced and described in this monograph on the firm. In addition, the book surveys over one hundred and thirty years of Bengel history and gives insights into sample books that ha
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.9" Width: 9.7" Height: 1.1" Weight: 4.4 lbs.
Release Date Apr 25, 2008
Publisher Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt GMBH
ISBN 3897902478 ISBN13 9783897902473
Reviews - What do customers think about Art Deco Jewelry: Jakob Gengel, Idar-Oberstein/Germany?
Deco elegance Jul 13, 2008
A first-class survey of Art Deco Galalith jewelry which focuses on the output of the German watch-chain and jewelry manufacturer Bengel. The first ninety-seven pages look at thirties fashion, jewelry and the art movements that created such a vibrant look to pendants, bracelets, earrings and brooches. Clearly Christine Weber-Stober has done a lot of research into European Art Deco jewelry and the items made by Bengel from Galalith (from the Greek 'gala', milk and 'lithos', stone)
It was made from milk protein and formaldehyde and was one of the new synthetic products developed in the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century. The beauty of it was that it could be made cheaply, was heat resistant and easy to color, so makers of buttons, belt-buckles, knitting needles and similar small items were able to churn them out by the millions. It did have one drawback though: it couldn't be cast like later plastic but was made in slabs, tubes and rods then cut and worked into whatever simple shape was required.
The various new materials developed in the early years of the twentieth century were ideally suited to designers and creative folk influenced by the new 'isms' of the age: cubism, futurism, vorticism and especially modernism via the Bauhaus. The second part of the book has 253 photos of mass produced jewelry from the Bengel company. Their expertise in metalwork combined with the simple colorful shapes of Galalith makes all of these pieces look quite stunning. Strangely, despite the author's research, there seems to be no real explanation as to why this German metal working factory made such remarkable work. None of it was stamped with the company name, their Galalith jewelry output went to wholesalers who sold it on to retailers who added their brand names.
The book's production is as gorgeous as the jewelry. Printed on matt art paper with a 175 screen, the elegant layout throws up the excellent photography. The text is in German and English but the designers have avoided any potential reader confusion by splitting the text pages horizontally with German occupying the top section. In comparison the books for collectors from the main American publishers in this sector look bland and visually uninspiring (expensive, too).
Art Deco Jewelry is a beautiful celebration of past jewelry style that still looks fresh and lively today.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
German Art Deco Jun 29, 2008
An in-depth family bio on the Bengel family of jewelers through the Art Deco period. Includes lots of family photos, original art piece drawings, and beautifully photographed actual pictures of Bengel pieces. It is a nice slice of life in pictoral form for anyone who wants to see close up, the types of jewelry that was being worn during that era. A beautiful book for the art lover or the vintage lover, for reference or coffee table.
Berlin chic of the 1930's Sep 21, 2004
Probably the dawn of art deco fashion jewelry was the 16-28 May 1927 machine-age exposition in New York. This exposition showed how modern technology could be fused with the arts, bringing German bauhaus design to America's attention.
The prior year, 1926, saw the release of the silent film "Metropolis," Fritz Lang's anxious vision of a world demanding conformity in which "the masses" are controlled by machines and their owners. This film's art direction makes use of many art deco design elements which find their way into mainstream costume jewelry design. Geometric shapes and simplicity dominate costume jewelry in which new, inexpensive materials, such as bakelite and corolite could be incorporated, adding translucent and opaque color.
Fashion jewelry components in the 1930's were manufactured primarily in Bohemia so, when Jewish owners lost their factories in 1938, art deco costume jewelry also vanished from the fashion scene. This book gathers -- and preserves in photographs -- much of art deco jewelry's beauty within its pages.