Although usually associated with the 1920s and '30s, the Art Deco style had already begun to emerge in France prior to the First World War. However, it was during the interwar years that the style, reaching full maturity, would be embraced across the world as the ultimate expression of modernity, elegance and refined taste. Art Deco design is redolent of the Jazz Age, conjuring images of society cocktail parties, the Charleston and Hollywood in this great but doomed era of excess. But this was also an age that saw momentous techlogical advances in engineering and transportation, and Art Deco is a feature, too, of the streamlined profiles of high-speed trains, ocean liners, and aircraft. Here, TV antiques expert Eric Kwles provides a lavishly illustrated personal narrative and guide to this most alluring and enduring of styles.
Eric Knowles began work at Bonhams, the London auctioneers, in 1976 and became head of the ceramics department in 1981, rising to become a director in 1985. He became a well-known television personality in the 1990s, as a regular expert on the BBC's 'Antiques Roadshow', and as the host of 'Going for a Song'. He has appeared on many television programmes since and currently co-hosts BBC's 'Antiques Master'. He is a regular contributor to BBC Homes and Antiques magazine, is antiques expert for The Sunday Times and the author of several books on antiques and the decorative arts. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and operates today as an independent valuer and fine art journalist.