The Great War of 1914-1918 had a profound influence on the cultural, political and intellectual life of Western civilization – many of the certainties that had governed life from at least the Napoleonic era, if not earlier, had either been swept away or called into question. As the 1920s dawned, a plethora of new movements surged unto the scene; some were of the most ephemeral but others were to define the following decades. In architecture, in interior design, in fashion, in advertising, in book design, in the theatre, and in social life generally, a tone and style known as "Art Deco" was to define the era. Haute couture, commissioned interiors and bespoke book-bindings are all signs of this time.

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