Small Talk / Miniature

A Rare Gem: The Art Deco Jewelry Store Chandelier

art deco chandelier

Like the star atop a Christmas tree, Caeser’s laurels, or the perfect bowtie, there’s something to be said about a great “finishing touch.” In T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store, you might say the grand chandelier is just that. Whether in full-scale or fine-scale miniature, a jewelry store needs the best light to reveal the luster of its wares.

The multi-tiered beaded chandelier by Robert Ward contains 15,800 glass seed beads. We had an intern count them once … just kidding, the artist did! A larger spherical glass bead hangs at the bottom center. The lavish light fixture was inspired by a full-scale Art Deco chandelier located in the grand salon of Hôtel du Collectionneur in “The City of Light”: Paris.

A Rare Gem: Jewels in Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco jewelry

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but sapphires and emeralds are pretty high on the list too! In the 1920s, no self-respecting flapper would be caught dead doing the Charleston at the Cotton Club without some fabulous jewelry, whether real or fake. The selection of miniature rings, bracelets, and baubles were designed and created for the Art Deco Jewelry Store by artist Lori Ann Potts.

Much of Potts’s portfolio is inspired by vintage fashion and jewelry. In fact, she often uses antique fabrics, lace, and rhinestones in her work. Her contributions to the Art Deco Jewelry Store really hit all the right style notes! Check back here on Small Talk for more on the room’s finishing touches.

A Rare Gem: Figures in the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco

In the 1920s, before “every kiss begins with Kay,” and way before “he went to Jared,” posh urbanites perused jewelry at grand Art Deco stores. T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store rendered in 1:12 scale miniature would be exactly the right place to buy a new pair of “manacles” (1920s slang for wedding rings!).

The figures within the Art Deco Jewelry Store depict one such occasion. A man dressed in a classic double-breasted pin striped suit stands beside his stylish female companion who relishes in all of the choices. The dapper sales clerk has pulled a ruby bracelet for the lady to try on. All three figures were created by Spanish artist María José Santos whose attention to detail is what make them so remarkable. In order to match the dusk time of day lighting outside, the two male figures have five o’clock shadows, and the man in the fedora carries a newspaper that reads, “Lindbergh Does It!” Next time: Get that ice or else no dice!

A Rare Gem: The Architecture of the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco interiors

When Mulvaney & Rogers were approached to create a work for T/m’s collection, they were immediately drawn to the decadent styling of art deco interiors. Full-size art deco architectural motifs were a blend of patterns from ancient cultures in Mesoamerica and Egypt and machine-age geometry. For their miniature jewelry store interior, the artists gathered inspiration from the Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, the transatlantic ocean liner Normandie, and the Nieman Marcus department store in San Francisco.

Mulvaney & Rogers’s room setting is a luxurious two-story interior complete with gilded railings and doors, a jewel-shaped display case, and richly adorned walls. From the faux-painted marble floor to the golden domed ceiling, every detail reflects Art Deco design. Mulvaney & Rogers also designed the interior and exterior lighting to give the appearance that it is dusk outside. Up next: jewelry shopping.

A Rare Gem: Collaborating on the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco jewelry

The jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s effectively put the final nail in the coffin of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. During that time, the world saw the rise of a new type of popular music, new fashion trends (that still appear today), and a new form of art and architecture known as Art Deco. While our hometown of Kansas City has many examples of Art Deco buildings, our favorite example is our 1:12 scale miniature Art Deco Jewelry Store.

Specially commissioned by T/m’s co-founder Barbara Marshall, the Art Deco Jewelry Store is the product of a collaboration between several miniature artists. Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers (best known as just Mulvany & Rogers) built the architectural space and jewelry counter. María José Santos created the miniature couple and dapper salesman figures. Robert Ward beaded the magnificent chandelier. Last, but not least, Lori Ann Potts is responsible for the miniature “bling” inside of the jewelry cases. Stick with us as we zoom in on the details of this jazzy miniature!

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