“If there is one embellishment that has appeared in every form of the decorative arts — from interiors to accessories, across cultures and times — it is undoubtedly the tassel.”
Photo from Hollywood Jewels by Penny Proddow and Marion Fasel
In the early 1970s, when news leaked Paramount Pictures was going to make The Great Gatsby into a movie, every A-list actor in Hollywood wanted the leading roles of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. And, why not? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork has long been considered one of, if not the, great American novel. The author poetically captured the 1920s period of prosperity through his passionate characters and coined the phrase Jazz Age. Once Robert Redford and Mia Farrow were cast in the plum parts, there was no question of who would provide the jewelry. The role went to Cartier.
Lois Chiles wearing the pearl and carved emerald art deco necklace by Cartier, New York in The Great Gatsby, Photo : Paramount Pictures
Tassels were found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. In the 14th and 15th centuries, they were made of silk, which was believed to be as expensive as gold at the time. As an indicator of opulence, the tassel naturally was used in jewelry.
One of history’s most infamous — the so-called Affair of the Diamond Necklace, the centre of a scandal in the 18th century, that discredited Marie Antoinette and the French monarchy before the French Revolution — was, in fact, an elaborate confection of diamond pendants and tassels.
Image : A recreation of the necklace, the diamond necklace at the centre of the furore was made by Parisian jewellers Boehmer and Bassenge. It contained 647 flawless diamonds, some several carats in size. The necklace was the most expensive piece of jewellery in France, possibly the world.
“The first two years of 1920’s marked the beginning of the Art deco era.”
Between 1920-1922 waistlines dropped to the hip and hemlines for daywear were just below the calf. Shoes became attractive. Hair got shorter and part of this change was due to the practicality required by women working in factories during World War I.
The plunging necklines of the 1920s lent themselves well to long pendants and other long necklaces. The sautoir, a long necklace made up of numerous strands of pearls or colored beads, and ending with one or two tassels, became particularly fashionable.
c1930 Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet
Geometric design, set with old European- and step-cut diamonds, highlighted with five oval sapphires, suspending a diamond-set tassel with pierced cupola top
“Tassel jewelry was at its golden period in the mid-19th century and early 20th century; some were flirty, some were elegant, some were fun, all were fabulous.”
The detachable seed pearl, onyx bead, enamel, diamond and emerald tassel was added later, having been recreated from original records by
Designed as gold ropes further decorated with gold chain tassels, circa 1950.
Platinum, Natural Pearl, Diamond and Emerald Tassel Brooch, Cartier, France, Circa 1915
“Though the 20s are long gone with the flapper dresses, and the long sautoir necklaces; a little part of the glamour they brought, would be a great joy to have in our day-to-day lives.”
Image : The Mogul tassel necklace
In the true essence of the name, 'Mogul', the form of the silver plaque of this neckpiece is chased with detailed floral patterns. Attached to that is a floral unit worked in gold and studded with uncut diamonds. The necklace is finished with a pearl tassel and a delicate chain with pearls and gemstones interspersed.
Image : The Eve tassel necklace
Attached to a green hued mother of pearl there is a floral unit studded with uncut diamond petals and an emerald in the centre bordered with rose-cut diamonds.. The neckpiece is finished with a pearl and onyx tassel and a delicate chain with pearls.
Inspired from the ornate 'Haldili' or amulets prevalent with the Mughals, this is our minimal take on the style. The Adventurine plaque serves as a base on which is a detailed gold pattern encasing rubies and turquoise. The neckpiece is finished with a pearl tassel and a delicate chain with pearls and gemstones interspersed.
A rare combination of grey and brown iridescent pearls and mother of pearl, this statement neck piece subtly commands the attention of the artistic eye! Worked in gold and silver this piece is embellished with rose-cut diamonds and uncut diamonds. The design is strung with a silk thread and an uncut diamond studded unit on each side.
“Treasure the memories of the glamorous 20s with tassels in your everyday wardrobe.”