Saturday, 31 December 2011

CAROLINA BUCCI and her woven jewels

This is a long overdue post. Carolina Bucci is a great jewellery designer but she is also a friend and in wanting to write a very nice piece, I have left it for far too long!.

Carolina belongs to a family of jewellers with more than 125 years of tradition; she could have easily chosen to fulfil her dream of devoting her work life to jewels by joining the family business but she went for the hard way of creating her own brand to develop her extremely original and groundbreaking ideas. When she was little, she loved weaving multicoloured thread bracelets, so soon after she finished Art school she started weaving golden chains and silk thread into incredible bracelets that are nowadays sought after an treasured by the lucky ones that have discovered her. Her pieces are elegant yet colourful and young, a rare achievement!.

View Carolina Bucci's website

Thursday, 29 December 2011

An exceptional Art Nouveau pendant/brooch by FOUQUET

This piece epitomises Art Nouveau. It is a pendant/brooch signed by Fouquet which undoubtedly was created by George Fouquet, the son of Alphonse F., who took over the family jewellery business in 1895 and embraced the Art Nouveau artistic trend. He was a visionary and a pioneer and his genius still has an influence today. He is the one responsible for the term Bijouterie, referring to jewellery that was focused on design and beauty rather than as a mere display of fine stones; in other words he elevated crafts to the category of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a retrospective exhibition, described Fouquet's Art Nouveau period as the time when "for a brief glorious moment, extravagant beauty reigned supreme".

One has to think about the impact that a brooch like this must have had in the early 1900's and the contrast of its exotic organic shape in yellow gold set with dramatic coloured enamel and semiprecious stones like the centre turquoise and the drop white opal with the white Belle époque and Garland style jewellery of his contemporaries with flower and lace motifs set in white metal and diamonds only!

George Fouquet partnered with Alphonse Mucha, the artist who designed the interior of his new shop in Paris, a perfect magical frame for his pieces which was a work of art in itself.

The piece will be auctioned by Sotheby's NY on February 9th.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A closer look to SEVAN Biçakçi

These pieces are part of the current ART ROCKS exhibition at Shizaru Gallery in London, curated by Joanna Hardy and no better than her words to take us through this extraordinary journey of unique jewellery. Sevan's originality and reverse intaglios have earned him a place amongst the masters!

 God of us Goldsmiths / Birth of Athena, 2010
Gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, amethyst, pearls, paintings by Hasan Kale portraying the witnesses at the birth of Goddess Athena


"Considered a troublemaker at school, Biçakçi was apprenticed to a local master goldsmith in his early teenage years. It was here his creativity came into development, and aged only eighteen, he began his own goldsmithing venture with two partners producing works for extraneous jewellery manufacturers. Ten years later the business was forced to close, opening new doors and a fresh platform from which he was able to exercise his creativity. His primary point of reference became the city in which he lived, Istanbul, as in his own words, ʻI wanted to put Istanbulʼs spirit into jewellery.ʼ In 2002 Biçakçi began his own bespoke jewellery range.
Biçakçi describes his work as, ʻthe Byzantine Emperor and the Ottoman Sultan meet Alice in Wonderland.ʼ Each piece is a collusion of various disciplines, including painting, calligraphy, enamelling, sculpting, metal chasing and notably micro-mosaicking. This is a painstaking process once widely practiced in Istanbul and often appearing in 18th and 19th century jewellery. It consists of using tiny tesserae of glass and stone to create a miniature mosaic with which Biçakçi adorns his work, referencing in an unprecedented way Turkeyʼs rich history with the art form. Each piece uses around 7,000 tesserae, requiring enormous concentration, patience and dedication.
Biçakçiʼs most notable trademark is his masterful use of reverse intaglio jewellery, which finds its roots in ancient Mesopotamian history. Here Biçakçi carves and paints the reverse of a gemstone, creating elaborate and magnificent architectural scenes either representing Turkish landmarks or merely from his own imagination.
Biçakçiʼs work, while rich in historical context and made using traditional methods (the only modern device in his studio is a laser metal welder), still manages to maintain a contemporary feel. The pieces appear to evade time, existing in their own miniature universe to which the collector may bring his own interpretation.
Sevan Biçakçi is the recipient of various awards, including the Tanzanite Foundation Award for Best Independent Design of 2007, as well as winning the Town & Country Couture Gemstone Award three years in a row."

Hagia Sophia, 2010 
gold, silver, diamonds, smoky topaz with
engraved intaglio inspired by Hagia Sophia 

Virgin Mary, 2011
gold, silver, diamonds, citrine with engraved intaglio

of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus

Byzance, 2007
Gold, silver, diamonds, micro-mosaic, lemon topaz with engraved intaglio inspired by byzantine churches 

City of the Gazelles, 2010
gold, silver, diamonds, moonstone with engraved

intaglio inspired by islamic architecture

Monday, 12 December 2011

A BOUCHERON Art Nouveau brooch from Liz Taylor

This is a beautiful Art Nouveau brooch made by Boucheron in November 1900 in Paris. In the shape of a butterfly, it was originally designed as a hair comb. The piece displays an extraordinary plique-à-jour  enamel work and it is set in calibre cut emeralds, cabochon rubies, opal and turquoise.

It belongs to the Elizabeth Taylor collection that will be auctioned by Christie's in NY next December 13th.

SHLUMBERGER: The night of the Iguana Liz Taylor Brooch

This is the brooch that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor on the night of the premiere of the film The Night of the Iguana on August 11th, 1964. It features a dolphin set in diamonds designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. It is part of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor that Christie's will auction on December 13th

Sunday, 11 December 2011

BOUCHERON: An exceptional enamelled jewel

In my opinion, this is the most important piece that will be auctioned by Sotheby's London next wednesday, December 14th. It is a brooch made by Boucheron in the 1890's depicting a cicada with the most exquisitely made wings in plique-à-jour enamel and calibre cut sapphires. The head and the body are set in diamonds and sapphires as well and the eyes are set with two cabochon cat's eye crysoberyl.

Frederic Boucheron opened his first shop at the Palais Royal in Paris in 1858. He was admired and reputed amongst his contemporary jewellers for his superb craftsmanship, his daring designs and imagination and his selection of only best stones. The brooch above was made many years before the Art Nouveau movement started in Paris, Boucheron breaks here with the formalities in fine jewellery imposed by the Belle Epoque and the Garland style and turns a daily insect into the finest piece. This is a true predecessor of the style both for the technique as well as for the naturalistic motif.

Plique-à-jour (French for "letting in daylight") is a vitreous enamelling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It is in effect a miniature version of stained-glass and is considered very challenging technically: high time consumption (up to 4 months per item), high failure rate, requires psychological strength to start over. The technique is similar to that of cloisonné, but using a temporary backing that after firing is dissolved by acid or rubbed away. The technique was developed in Byzantine Empire in 6th century AD and was revived in the late 19th century movement of revivalist jewellery, and became especially popular in Russia, Scandinavia and in the French Art Nouveau.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

SOPHIA MANN: the art of life in jewellery

One of the most striking discoveries I have had in a long time!. The exhibition "Art Rocks" curated by Joahanna Hardy (at the Shizaru Gallery in London) presents young artist Sophia Mann who graduated from St. Martin's just a couple of years ago.

Sophia's pieces are first of all unique works of art, full of life and meaning, yet she has chosen the unusual mean of fine jewellery to express her vision. The metal work is cold, strong and solid in a very masculine way, but the beaded work is feminine, sensual and organic. In this ring yellow rough diamonds are combined with different coloured coral beads and rubies, sapphires and apatite and set in 18ct gold in a provocative and extremely original design that can inspire any kind of reaction but apathy. One may love it or hate it but it can leave no one neutral. I'm clearly in the first category, an instant fan!.

Monday, 5 December 2011

A NARDI moretto set with turquoise and coloured diamonds

This is another moretto by Nardi that will also be auctioned by Phillips de Pury in NY. In this instance Nardi is using his well known carved ebonite head as a base to display a set of cabochon turquoise, coloured diamonds and pearls in an elaborate design. An unusual combination that the master jeweller manages to turn into a creation that could rival any haute couture design.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

NARDI: a rare moretto set with opals

For Nardi moretto's collectors this one is a truly rare find. The head is made of carved ebonite with the turban set with three garnets ending with a start set ruby. The bodice has a strong geometrical design, very elaborate and set with circular cut rubies; however the rarest feature of the piece are the cabochon black opals alternated with cultured pearls. It will be auctioned in NY by Phillips de Pury on December 6th.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

LIZ TAYLOR'S Online auction starts today!

Christie's online auction for the minor jewels and memorabilia from Liz Taylor's collection starts today. Almost 1000 items will be up for sale until December 17th, a very brave and innovative approach to the high end auction world, let's see how it goes!

View auction online

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Review coming soon!!! it's jewellery auction season again!!

Friday, 28 October 2011

A magnificent Emerald Necklace by VERDURA

Fulco Verdura preferred working with semi-precious stones and less important raw materials, he wanted his pieces to be remarkable for their design and creative value, and no doubt they are, but when an impressive gemstone like this drop emerald is included then the creation is even more spectacular. Most likely, Verdura paid attention to the necklace and not so much to the detachable pendant. The design is very interesting and alternates baguette cut diamonds with brilliant cut ones and pave-set diamond pieces. The piece will be auctioned at Christie's Geneva on November 16th.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

MARCHAK: citrine and diamond bracelet

This is a beautiful bracelet signed by Marchak. It features a centre piece with a geometrical ribbon design and a pave set diamond knot. The bracelet is made of citrine stones set in a triple row and it conveys a rare warm feeling for a piece of jewellery. Russian jeweller Marchak was established in 1878 and reached his height in the Art Deco period; his pieces are very rare to find nowadays. This bracelet will be auctioned by Christie's Geneva on November 16th.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A pair of JAR butterfly brooches

Sometimes when I write about a piece by JAR I wonder if I could be able to transmit the beauty and delicacy of his work, for the pictures never do. Unlike others, JAR's creations can only be appreciated when one actually sees them and they stand apart for the perfection of the craftsmanship and the unique use of colour. These butterfly brooches will be auctioned by Christie's Geneva on November 16th, the combination of pave-set coloured diamonds, sapphires and amethysts could only bear JAR's signature!.

There will also be three other minor pieces by JAR in the same auction and one should not miss the article about JAR's Imperial Topaz Earrings

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

MEISTER: swiss tradition in coloured gemstones

In 1881, Emil Meister, an accomplished goldsmith and designer founded the firm bearing his surname in Zurich. Upon his death in 1921, the firm was taken over by his son Eduard Meister (1880-1954). Walter Meister, the son of Eduard (1917-1986), added an heroical and silverware section to the establishment. He also developed the firm's reputation as specialist in coloured stones, for which they are now famous. The firm is currently run by the fourth generation. adrian Meister (b. 1952) heads the company, assisted by his brother Roland (b. 1964) who heads the silver department. They are celebrating the 130th anniversary.

This bracelet will be auctioned at Christie's Geneva on November 16th, it is signed EM Meister.

A very fine MUZO emerald ring

Muzo is the region from Colombia where some of the finest emeralds in the world are found. Sotheby's Geneva will be auctioning this incredible one. What it really makes it to stand out is the deep green colour, almost impossible to find untreated.

Monday, 24 October 2011

RUSER: A diamond flower brooch

William Ruser gained his early jewellery experience while working for Trabert & Hoeffer, Inc- Mauboussin in their Atlantic City shop. From there he was transferred to the Los Angeles branch as manager. After serving in the armed forces during World War II, he and his wife, Pauline, opened Ruser on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, in 1947. He is most noted for his sculptural jewellery with pave-set diamonds, precious and semi-precious gemstones as well as his nature inspired jewellery featuring birds, butterflies, fish, flowers and swans. Hollywood stars regularly visited his salon. Ruser closed its doors in 1969.

The brooch above is a great example of his favourite designs, a pave set diamond flower brooch that could have inspired JAR! It will be auctioned in Geneva by Christie's on November 16th.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

AUCTION HIGHLIGHT: Christie's Geneva

Christie's Geneva will be hosting two magnificent auctions on November 16th. not to be missed, they are definitely worth the trip, from a small but really well rounded European collection of jewellery that shines for a number of incredible mystery set Van Cleef & Arpels pieces, to a huge selection of Bvlgari demi parures. There is a bit (or a lot) of everything from a number of extremely rare pieces by JAR, Ruser, Meister together with jewels from Royal Houses and Susan Barton amongst other significant provenance to some remarkable gemstones like coloured diamonds and alexandrite. Watch out!, we'll be posting...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

JAR: two great pieces up for auction at Sotheby's Geneva

Sotheby's Geneva will be auctioning two rare pieces by JAR, a dragonfly brooch set in gold with Rock Crystal and diamonds made in 1987 and a Morganite and portrait cut diamond pendant made in 1984.

Both pieces were presented at the retrospective "Jewels of JAR Paris" exhibition held at the Gilbert Collection in London, 2 November 2002 - 26 January 2003 and are featured in the book about JAR's jewellery. Undoubtedly some of his best examples.

Sotheby's Geneva, Magnificent Jewels will take place on November 15th.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

LIZ TAYLOR: the JAR affair

Liz Taylor purchased this pair of ear clips in Paris in 2001. They were made for her by famous contemporary legendary jeweller JAR (Joel Arthur Rosenthal) who selected coloured sapphires to match the colour play of Elizabeth's eyes. Jar himself recalls the commission: “She told me, "My eyes are blue, like yours, sometimes green. It's the others who think they see violet.‟ So, the striped balls are her vision of color, and the world's.”
Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

Monday, 26 September 2011

LIZ TAYLOR: "La Peregrina" Pearl mounted by Cartier

This famous pear shaped pearl is considered one of the most beautiful and perfect in the world. It was discovered in the 1500 in the Gulf of Panama and it weights 203 grains. It was part of the Spanish Crown Jewels and belonged to King Philip II of Spain and later to Queen Margaret and Elisabeth who wore it in their portraits by Velazquez. Richard Burton acquired the pearl at auction in 1969 as a gift to Elisabeth Taylor who then commissioned the necklace and pendant of matching natural pearls and rubies to Al Durante from Cartier. La Peregrina is stunning but the mount is so perfect both in terms of design and execution that the overall effect of the piece is breathtaking.

Christie's Images Ltd, 2011

Sunday, 25 September 2011

LIZ TAYLOR: The Taj Mahal Diamond

I have finally visited the exhibition at Christie's London today!, even though the arrangement was quite poor and the pieces were hard to see, I have to admit that the jewels are even more fabulous than I had imagined, not just for the exceptional stones but more remarkably for their design and craftsmanship. Liz Taylor treasured perfection and her collection is a great reflection of her taste. One can only think that it will be a shame that in a couple of months, it will be torn apart as each piece will probably to a different part of the world and will never be seen together again.

The pendant above is the Taj Mahal diamond, set in a gold and ruby necklace made by Cartier, the pendant stone is a heart shaped diamond engraved with the name Nur Jahan the mother of a great Mughal emperor who gave the stone to his favourite wife in 1627, Mumtaz-i-Mahal. When she died, only four years later, the grief of the emperor was so deep that he commissioned the Taj Mahal to remember her. Richard Burton was captivated by the story as well as the piece and he gave it to Elizabeth Taylor as a present on her 40th birthday in 1972.

Christie's Images Ltd, 2011 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

AUCTION: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie's

The world tour of Elizabeth Taylor fabulous jewels has started!, from now until the auction planned to take place in New York, Christie's will be exhibiting what can be considered one of the best private jewellery collections of the XX Century in an unprecedented journey that has just started in Moscow.

Bvlgari, Boucheron, JAR, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels...Just watch out... I'll be posting!

The legendary jewels auction will take place in New York on December 13th.

A gold and Tiger's Eye Bracelet by TIFFANY

This is an interesting and original design by Tiffany & Co (Italy). The bracelet features a tridimensional design with pyramids and it is set with Tiger's Eye gemstones in each crossing. It is not dated and quite contemporary looking for it's boldness although I think it must from the 80's at the latest. It will be auctioned by Sotheby's NY on september 20th together with an unsigned replica adorned with Lapis Lazuli. The two pieces would look too good together to separate them!

STERLE: A mother of pear flower brooch

This beautiful brooch will be auctioned by Sotheby's NY on september 20th, it is a fine example of the delicate and tasteful jewellery signed by Sterle. It features a flower made of mother-of-pearl and adorned with rubies and diamonds made in 1965 in an elegant pre-minimalist design.

Pierre Sterle was born in 1905 to a family of high powered Civil Servants and first opened his salon in 1934, rue Saint-Anne. He never drew himself but employed a talented team who brought to life his vow to wage war on the jewel as a mere financial asset. Pierre Sterle’s connections and charisma led him to become a widely respected name and an important figure in the luxury jewellery market. He quickly acquired an elite clientele from all over the world and undertook some historically important commissions including being asked to remodel the crown jewels of Egypt by Queen Narriman and complete what was acclaimed at the time as the whitest necklace to date with over 250 stones, for the daughter of German businessman. His dedication to innovative jewellery design was also admired from within the trade and he was awarded De Beers Diamond Corporation’s ‘Diamond Award’ in 1953, 1954, and 1955. Unfortunately Sterle found himself in financial difficulties several times in his career. The launch of his perfumes in 1955 ‘huit-huit” and then later “2 Diam” spelt financial ruin. Choosing, as was Pierre Sterle’s habit, to strive for quality regardless of the costs led the scents to be sold below cost. Sterle lost paintings and his beloved property North of Paris. Financial soucis and family sadness behind him, by 1961 he was designing under his name and also for Chaumet. Following success at the 1966 Paris Bienniale, Sterle opened his first shop, a move which he had avoided all these years. However, despite the increase in stock and presence, this move proved disastrous and Pierre Sterle was forced to liquidate the company in 1976. Chaumet bought any remaining stock signing anything that was not already so, resulting in pieces as early as 1962 now having a Chaumet signature. Pierre Sterle stayed with Chaumet as a technical consultant where he charmed a new generation, not least the young designer Beatrice de Plinval with whom he struck up a creative bond. During his last years, 1976 and 1977, they worked closely together on the famous Lotus parure.

Monday, 19 September 2011

LACLOCHE FRERES: Spanish success in Paris Art Deco

The Spanish jewellery house Lacloche Freres was founded in 1875 by four brothers: Leopold, Lacques, Jules and Fernand. They opened stores in Madrid, San Sebastian, Biarritz and Paris where they became truly successful during the Art Deco period, specially for their enamelled objects. They participated in the 1925 Arts Decoratifs Exhibition in Paris with an extraordinary series of pendants inspired in the fables from La Fontaine. During the First World War they bought Faberge's shop and inventory in London. They were not craftsmen but selected works from the most talented artisans around them. Proof that taste is a crucial element in Art Jewellery!.

The watch above is an extremely delicate example of the purest Art Deco Oriental trend, set in diamonds and pearl it's three pieces show the master enamel technique for which Lacloche Freres are best known.  It will be auctioned at Sotheby's NY on september 20th.

UPCOMING EXHIBITION: 25 year of AKELO at Bentley & Skinner

Bentley & Skinner is one of my favourite antique jewellery dealers in London and AKELO is one of the best modern goldsmiths I have found, and here they are together in this promising exhibition that will take place in London from the 2nd to the 19th of November. I just can't wait!. I find it a visionary step from B&S and another proof confirming the place that exceptionally unique jewellery, be it antique or modern, is taking amongst galleries as another art category.

The exhibition celebrates one quarter of a century of activity by Andrea Cagnetti, known artistically as Akelo (a name that recalls the Greek god of water), one of the most talented masters of goldsmithing in the world.  The artist, born in Corchiano in Italy, in the province of Viterbo where the ruins of the legendary Etruscan city of Fescennia once stood, creates jewellery and golden objects – all unique pieces – the result of a marriage between decades of study and experimentation with the greatest ancient goldsmithing techniques and his modern approach.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

DISCOVERIES: Leo de Vroomen, modern jewellery couture

Last night was an absolute jewellery treat for me: I met Leo de Vroomen with Joanna Hardy!

Leo de Vroomen was born in Holland during the Second World War. After his apprenticeship in Le Hague and Switzerland he established his workshop and showroom in London in 1965. He is a master goldsmith in the Repousse technique so hard to find nowadays that consist of shaping the metal with a hammer a gives gold a beautiful texture and ancient looking finnish. What I found unique about Leo's work is that he applies the technique to contemporary design of the highest quality. His attention to detail and quality standards are close to an obsession, the pieces are not just beautiful in terms of proportion, shape and colour combination or quality of finnish, they are perfect engineering machines with all kind of cleverly hidden mechanisms that make them truly special to wear.

The creations are unique and bespoke in a haute couture fashion, as the entire process that takes place at his atelier in London. He would start with a gemstone and go over the design and drawing process for a particular piece with the client and the entire piece would be handcrafted at his workshop downstairs.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

London Masterpiece VI: a CARTIER necessaire at SJ Phillips

This 1925 lacquer, mother-of-pearl and diamonds "necessaire" box was made by Cartier and is on display at Masterpiece by London dealer SJ. Phillips. Precious objects for women to carry their essentials can be traced back to the eighteen century in different versions, but the use of make up (in the 1920s) revolutionised the design. Vanity cases, like the one above, designed to keep powder and lipstick became another piece of jewellery and a fundamental part of the matching outfit. The most sophisticated version of them was Van Cleef's invention of the Minaudiere, a larger version with a cigarette compartment as well!.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

London Masterpiece V: Rene BOIVIN at Hancocks

This spectacular - "architectural" ring was designed by Suzanne Belperron for Rene Boivin in 1934. This revolutionary woman, left the firm to establish on her own in 1931 but she probably continued working on commissions for them. The ring is set with diamonds and citrines in yellow gold and a true anticipation of the bold retro style to come in the 1940's. She was a visionary and a unique creative genius. The ring is featured at Hancocks amongst many other important pieces like the choker necklace below, a rare find signed by Black Star & Frost and made in 1905 in the purest Belle Epoque style.

London Masterpiece IV: MINK earrings by Meret Oppenheim

London dealer 21st Century has one of the richest collections but perhaps my pick would be this extraordinary pair of earrings made with mink by surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim in the 1960's which could not represent better the whole spirit of that decade.

Friday, 1 July 2011

London Masterpiece III: LALIQUE at Epoque Fine Jewels

Brussels based Antique dealer Epoque Fine Jewels is presenting an incredible range not only for the quality of the pieces but also for their beauty, one of the most tasteful collections at the fair.

Above, this magnificent Art Nouveau pendant/brooch by Rene Lalique was made c. 1900 and features a beautiful Hawthorn blossom set in enamelled gold with frosted glass and diamonds.

Below, another piece by Lalique, also Art Nouveau, it is a collar plaque made of gold, enamel and diamonds with four striking blue thistle flowers.

Besides Lalique, they have brought a huge selection of all the masters including this extremely rare "collier de chien" by Cartier made in velvet and platinum set with diamonds and turquoises which is one of the finest examples of the Garland Style.

London Masterpiece II: Marie Antoinette's PEARLS

These were Marie Antoinette's pearls given as a gift to Lady Sutherland, wife of the English Ambassador in Paris at the time she was taken to prison. This is proper Provenance!.  The pearls were mounted  later as the necklace above, in 1849 on the occasion of a family wedding. The piece is offered by Wartski at London Masterpiece, it is not signed but the design is stunning, a row of calibre cut rubies with a twisted golden rope from which the pearls hang forming a beautiful star.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

London MASTERPIECE Review I: Symbolic & Chase

London Masterpiece opened last night, besides Elton John and Uma Thurman visiting together, what really struck me were the jewels!, probably one of the best selections in the world put together in an extraordinary display. So I have decided to start a mini series of the best of the best!

The brooch above, at London antique dealer Symbolic & Chase, was made by Rene Boivin around 1934, it is difficult to classify because it is too modern for Art Deco, it is just too forward looking as most of the designs from this master.

Below, it is a detail of a magnificent Ludo Hexagone bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels, quite unique and much more sophisticated than the most usual Ludo pieces that come up quite often at auctions. This is one of the finest examples of the Retro style.

COLLECTING Cigarette cases

The fact that nobody smokes anymore should not be a reason why not to collect these extremely delicate pieces of art. It was in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, when smoking became a fashionable social act, that jewellers took on the challenge of designing beautiful cases that would displayed by their owners at every society gathering.  Today, they can be used as extremely sophisticated business card holders!.

The one above, set in blue enamel with mille-grain set sapphires and diamonds was made by Van Cleef and Arpels in the 1920s. The three below are all signed by Cartier between 1913 and 1950. They will be auctioned by Sotheby's London on July 13th.