Art Nouveau style was first seen in the early 1800s & was gone by the time WWI began. Art Nouveau graced city spaces, public buildings & also the homes of the wealthy throughout Europe & America.
From 1820 to 1890 French silver was dominated by what can be described best as ‘eclecticism’ an infusion of influences of all the 19th century styles from the Neo-classical forms to the florid, extravagant styles which culminated in the Art Nouveau Spectacular Naturalism where nature & art make you almost forget the materials used like the door at La Maison Laviroette.
It is as though the form becomes more important that the materials used. Art Nouveau captures the attention like no other movement, not even Art Deco.
After 1850 silversmiths began to collaborate with skilled enamel workers, sculptors & draughtsmen & their admirable pieces reflect this highly productive period of creativity in France.Silver was also decorated with allegorical & mythological figures, as can be seen in the cigarette case pictured at the top to this page.