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Boch Freres Keramic art deco vase
ART DECO is essentially a decorative style that first appeared around 1900 and grew to full force around late-1910s, dominating the Decorative Arts until about the mid-1940s. Its presence permeated several aspects of art, architecture, industrial design, fashion and all sorts of crafts, including making its distinct mark on Porcelain, Pottery, and Chinaware. It is characterized by its use of mostly straight lines or symmetrical shapes and of employing primarily strong and solid colors, thus forming striking bold visual motifs.

The Art Deco style can be said to be in vivid contrast to the free-flowing Art Nouveau aesthetic movement that appeared on the scene a few decades earlier. It is also regarded as the most likely forerunner of Modernism that had its peak in the 1950s – 1960s. Although this timeline suggests a general indication as to the predominance of each style, in reality, all of these decorative styles co-existed and overlapped, sometimes even combined to some extent with some examples and are still apparent in all walks of life to this date. Basically, most artisans and designers in Europe & USA gave emphasis to one or the other based on their clientele and other factors so as to follow current trends. Very few were strict adherents to any particular style, and those consisted primarily of a few studios or ateliers or individual modelers scattered in Central Europe and France.

The epitome in the application of the Art Deco style in Decorative Arts is the Vienna Workshop [Wiener Werkstätte]. Established in 1903, it employed several master designers & modelers that were true and absolute proponents of this genre. Well before finally closing its doors in 1932, this industrious studio had already managed to become one of the most prolific and enthusiastic producers of items in the Art Deco style on all kinds of avenues, including Interior Design, Textiles, Fine Art Paintings, Metalware, Silver & Jewelry, Porcelain & Chinaware, Glass & Crystal, and even Woodwork and Mixed Media. For more on this studio, please see our article on The Vienna Workshops - Wiener Werkstätte.

In other regions of the world and specifically in Great Britain for Porcelain, Tableware, or Pottery, the most notable examples of companies full-heartedly adopting the Art Deco style, at least for a period, include Royal Doulton, Minton, Copeland-Spode, Worcester Royal Porcelain, Carlton Ware by Wiltshaw & Robinson, Crown Devon [aka S. Fielding & Co.], John Beswick and many others, but to a lesser extent. To identify makers’ marks and read more on each company, please see our Ceramics marks guides.

Below are several examples of Art Deco items from our Antiques & Collectibles Pricing Guides.

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  • Sterling Silver Tea Service, "Fairfax" by
    Durgin, Art Deco style three piece service includes teapot (4.25"h), lidded sugar, and creamer, the teapot with ivory insulators on handle, each bears Durgin hallmark and ... [more like this]
    SERVICE ''Fairfax'' pattern. Including twelve dinner knives seven dinner forks five dinner spoons twelve luncheon knives six luncheon forks 18 salad forks six teaspoons eleven ... [more like this]
  • Fairfax Sterling Tea Service American, marks
    for Gorham/Durgin, 1927, 7-1/4 in. coffeepot with bakelite insulators, with matching teapot, creamer and sugar, no monograms, 56.65 oz.T., (four pieces), ... [more like this]
  • Five Piece Sterling Tea Service: American,
    1931, four pieces, Fairfax pattern with mark for Gorham/Durgin,  composite spacers: 7 in. coffee with matching teapot, creamer, lidded sugar; with similar Wallace waste, ... [more like this]
  • Five Piece Fairfax Sterling Tea Service:
    American, 1956, ÿrectangular paneled forms, composite spacers, ÿno monograms, all with marks forÿGorham, 64. 95 oz. T. , 7-1/4 in. coffee pot with matching teapot, lidded ... [more like this]
  • Gorham Sterling Silver "Fairfax" Tea Service
    3 Pcs: Gorham sterling silver tea or coffee service set, "Fairfax" pattern, comprising a coffee / teapot, creamer and sugar, hallmarked, "Gorham / Sterling / Fairfax. " Tallest: ... [more like this]
  • Durgin "Fairfax" Sterling Coffee & Tea Service
    Wm. B. Durgin Co (American (Pennsylvania) 1880-1905). Five piece sterling silver coffee and tea service in the "Fairfax" pattern comprising a 2-3/4 pint coffee pot, 1-3/4 ... [more like this]
    PART SERVICE AND THIRTY-TWO PIECES OF OTHER AMERICAN SILVER FLATWARE the 'Repousse' marked S. Kirk & Son, including: 3 hollow-handled dinner knives; 4 dinner forks; 5 salad ... [more like this]
    SERVICE. "Fairfax" pattern. Six of each: dinner knives, dinner forks, iced tea spoons, oyster forks; five demitasse spoons, five butter knives, three soup spoons, 19 teaspoons, ... [more like this]
    COFFEE SERVICE, "Fairfax" pattern. Comprising: hot water kettle on stand, coffee pot, tea pot, two open sugars. Coffee pot with monogram - 94 oz., 6 dwt.; 7 in. high, coffee ... [more like this]
  • "Fairfax" Sterling Silver Tea & Coffee Service
    the (5) piece service includes: coffeepot by Durgin (7 in), teapot by Gorham, covered sugar bowl by Gorham, creamer by Gorham, and open waste bowl by Gorham. Each piece is ... [more like this]
  • Gorham "Fairfax" Sterling Silver Tea & Coffee
    Service a (5) piece service with associated silverplate waiter (22.5 in.). The set including a coffee pot (9.75 in.), teapot, sugar bowl with cover, creamer and open waste ... [more like this]
    pattern, a five-piece sterling silver coffee and tea service comprising a coffee pot, teapot, creamer, sugar and waste bowl, script monogram. Weight 63.3 troy ounces. Estimate: ... [more like this]
  • An American Sterling Silver Tea and Coffee
    Service Gorham 1928 in the Fairfax pattern comprising a teapot coffee pot and kettle on stand with ivory insulators a covered sugar creamer waste bowl and matching handled ... [more like this]
  • 2001 - Durgin Co. Sterling Fairfax Pattern
    Flatware Durgin Co. sterling silver Fairfax pattern flatware partial service for 12 with extras, 12 dinner knives with stainless blades, 12 dinner forks, 8 salad forks, ... [more like this]
  • Gorham sterling silver 'Fairfax' partial
    flatware service Comprising 12 dinner knives, 12 luncheon knives, 14 steak knives, 8 other steak knives, 12 dinner forks, 13 luncheon forks, 10 salad forks, 11 seafood ... [more like this]
  • American sterling silver 110-piece flatware
    service in the ''Fairfax'' pattern Gorham 20th century; comprising: 12 forks (7 1/4 in. L.); 6 salad forks (6 5/8 in. L.); 5 salad forks (6 1/8 in. L.); 12 shellfish forks; ... [more like this]
  • Gorham Fairfax Sterling Flatware American.
    An eighty-piece Gorham flatware service in ''Fairfax'' pattern includes (6) butter knives (12) dinner knives (12) dinner forks (12) salad forks (6) shrimp forks (8) iced tea ... [more like this]
  • An American Silver Assembled Part Flatware
    Service: Service Durgin Co. Providence, Rhode Island Fairfax pattern (introduced 1910) Comprising: 12 dinner forks 6 salad forks 6 seafood cocktail forks 7 teaspoons 3 tablespoons ... [more like this]
  • Durgin sterling silver -piece flatware service early
    20th century, "Fairfax" pattern, including: 12 forks (7 7/8 in. L.), 20 forks (7 1/8 in. L.), 12 salad forks, 12 knives (9 5/8 in. L., stainless blades), 12 knives (8 1/2 ... [more like this]

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