Arthur King, c. 1970
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The abstract and sculptural jewels of the 1960s and 1970s tended to shy away from polished gold, introducing new textures which were created through the use of flame and heat. Furthermore, symmetrical cuts were out of fashion and jewelers played with new gemstone cuts and shapes. The work of Arthur King typified this modern spirit.
King taught himself the art of jewelry-making during the Second World War. His success in the U.S. spurred the opening of galleries in London, Paris, Miami and Cuba. His work was known for its irregular shapes, uncut and unpolished stones, unusual textures, unexpected color combinations and the use of scrap metal.
This abstract brooch of gnarled gold is scattered with diamonds. Made in 1970, it’s a perfect example of King’s design sensibilities.