Monday, 31 January 2011

Jewelry Insider™: SAG Awards Jewelry Roundup 2011

Jewelry Insider™: SAG Awards Jewelry Roundup 2011: "Juliana Margulies in Bavna jewelry The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards brought us a red carpet full of diamond dangle earrings, ic..."

LALAOUNIS necklace and bracelet

This necklace and bracelet by Ilias Lalaounis is coming up for auction at Sotheby's New York this week. Inspired in ancient greek jewels, the set is composed by five strands of golden rondelles.

View Sotheby's lot details

Sunday, 30 January 2011

LALIQUE: "La Princesse Lointaine" art nouveau pendant

Photo by Wartski

This is one of the most characteristic examples of Rene Lalique's Art Nouveau jewellery. It is a pendant featuring a naturalistic countryside scene with a medieval female figure with a greyhound. The delicate enamel piece is framed by a golden foliate design set with diamonds and with a pendant amethyst. The piece is known as La Princesse Lointaine after the character played by Lalique's muse Sarah Bernhardt in Edmond Rostand's 1895 play.

The  piece is for sale at Wartski, London.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A FABERGE ice jewel

Peter Carl Faberge was born in Russia in 1846 and died in Switzerland in 1920. He studied in several european cities and worked for his father until 1870 when he took over the family business. In 1884 he started producing pieces for the Tsar and the Tsarina of Russia which made his firm one of the most sought after across Europe at the time. He got consolidated at the 1900 Paris exhibition and right after started creating objects for Edward VII and other royal families. He was more a businessman than a designer and through his firm he employed some of of the best craftsmen of his time, signing the pieces with his Faberge family brand. Faberge produced numerous objects de vertu that are considered a must in any traditional fine art collection, to the point that today he is almost the only jeweller with antique dealers specialised only in his brand. His bejewelled easter eggs, all of them one of a kind, are universally known and admired.

In 1913, Faberge created the most famous Easter egg, the Winter Egg given by Tsar Nicholas II to is mother the Dowager Tsarina Marie Feodorovna. It was made of frosted rock crystal set with diamonds in platinum. The gift became so popular that it was immediately followed by a range of jewellery designed in the similar "ice" style. This pendant was designed by Albert Holmstrom and a drawing was found in his diary dated June 27th, 1913.

The piece is owned by Faberge specialised antique dealer Wartski, in London.

Jewelry & watch auctions 2011

Friday, 28 January 2011

WALLACE CHAN: Birth of Light brooch

Wallace Chan was born in 1956 in China, he grew up in Hong Kong and worked as an apprentice in traditional chinese carving since the age of eighteen. Once he had mastered the curvature techniques of the oriental art he invented the " Wallace cut" which consists of a unique carving technique that combines cameo, intaglio and faceting in a way never done before. He creates multidimensional pieces that display their beauty not only through the precious stones he uses but also creating light. There is deep philosophical meaning in each one of his creations but also the most innovative and modern techniques which result in provocative pieces. He will insert a carved opal upside down inside a hollow crystal, set in titanium and embellished with diamonds.

He is a jeweller that became an artist, his first international exhibition was held at Basle Art Fair in 2007. And since then his creations, sold at only a few outlets around the world, are sought after by collectors and treasured. Undoubtedly he can be considered the modern Asian JAR of our time.

View Wallace Chan website

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A NARDI Moretto

The Nardi family has been creating jewellery for three generations out of their shop in St. Mark's Place in Venice. They are best known for the "moretto" or "blackmoor" brooches which represent the emblem of the city of Venice. They were first designed by Giulio Nardi in 1920 inspired by Shakespeare's Othello. Each moretto is different and a unique creation, they are sought after by collectors all over the world for their ellaborate carving and precious stones. They symbolize purity and love.

This Moretto has a jet carved head with a golden turban, earrings and dress adorned with rubies and pearls.

View antique dealer's details in Florence

Monday, 24 January 2011

CARTIER: reappearance of a historic 141 carat emerald

Copyright ©CARTIER. All rights reserved

In 1925, Cartier presented a magnificent carved emerald at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. "It was set as the central jewel of a necklace to be worn in a style never seen before". The emerald dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish discovered the mines of Chivor in Colombia and started the trade with Europe and the Portuguese with Asia. This stone travelled first from Colombia to Seville, and then to Goa in India, where it was acquired by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan who had it carved by the royal artisans in Jaipur. It would not be until the beginning of the 20th century when the gem would travel back to Europe when it was brought to Paris by an Indian prince to have it remounted in the modern style of the time.

The emerald was first mounted for the Paris Exposition in an extremely original shoulder adornment with two other carved emeralds, pearls, black enamel and diamonds on platinum. It was just a long string of articulated pieces to be thrown over the shoulder.

Cartier Archives © Cartier

Later, the emerald would be reset in a different style as an Art Deco brooch. Finally, last year, Cartier presented the emerald in Paris, at the 25th Biennale des Antiquaries, with a number of different drawings as proposals for a new setting. All of them amazing, just looking forward to seeing which one will be chosen by the lucky collector that acquires the piece.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

An 1840's turquoise serpent necklace

Bonhams London will be auctioning this great example of one of the most popular pieces during the Early Victorian period in England. A Serpent head necklace set in turquoise with garnets and diamonds. In the mid XIX century many english businessmen went on exploratory commercial trips to Asia bringing back with them exotic gemstones like the Turquoise which became very fashionable for both its lively colour and its reasonable cost. The serpent snake bitting its tail motif had been used since the middle of the eighteen century as a symbol of eternity. This piece with cabochon turquoise head, diamond eyebrows and lips and garnet eyes is the most typical setting for this period. The necklace is not signed but it comes boxed by Hancocks, London jewellers since 1849. 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

LALAOUNIS demi parure

A beautiful set by Ilias Lalaounis. The bracelet and the long necklace in foxtail link chain both finished with carved lion heads set with precious stones.

It comes up for auction at Sotheby's New York on february 2nd.

Friday, 21 January 2011

BOIVIN: a tubular gold necklace

This is an important but casual necklace by Rene Boivin. A polished gold tubular design holding three pave motifs of diamonds and rubies. The loose rings move to reveal silver on the back. A young and modern piece despite being probably more than fifty years old!.

It comes up for auction at Sotheby's New York on February 2nd.

INTERVIEW with NY vintage dealer Robin Katz

Robin Katz is an unusual antique dealer in vintage jewelry. She started only four years ago, hosting champagne receptions to show her pieces at her Park Lane apartment; the story is so glamorous that it could have been the script of a Sex & The City chapter! However what I really liked about the article, is how the journalist remarks that Robin Katz key to success is the fact that she stands out because of her taste in selecting the pieces!

Read the full interview

Thursday, 20 January 2011

CALDER: Online Exhibition

"Calder produced more than 1,800 pieces of jewellery, beginning in 1906 when he found copper wire discarded in the street and adorned his sister’s dolls. Each piece is hammered, shaped, and composed in a fashion that echoes the artist’s sculptures. The use of non-precious materials and found objects guided his intuitive jewellery technique, from his bohemian years of the 1920s and 1930s to the war years. His jewellery was coveted by the Surrealist circle, and today is still highly sought after by collectors and museums."

TIFFANY & Co Black Jade and diamond earrings

This is a beautiful and elegant pair of earrings by Tiffany & Co. They are made of segments of pave diamonds and black jade, an unusual and rare choice instead of black onix.

They will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on February 2nd.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A RETRO diamond and ruby orchid brooch

Fantastic orchid shaped brooch with french assay and maker's marks but unsigned. It will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on february 2nd.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

RUSER: a gold and diamond 1950s bracelet

William Ruser trained at Mauboussin and run their branch in Los Angeles. In 1947, after the Second World War, when he served in the US army, he opened his own shop with his wife Pauline, in Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. He became famous for his sculptural and bold designs in yellow gold with pave diamonds and semi precious stones. His pieces were sought after by Hollywood stars and his business closed in 1969 which makes the appearance of them in the market a rare find.

This bracelet comes up for auction at Sotheby's New York on february 2nd.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Jewelry Insider™: 2011 Golden Globes Jewelry Fashion Recap

Jewelry Insider™: 2011 Golden Globes Jewelry Fashion Recap: "Natalie Portman in Victor & Rolf and Tiffany jewelry Jewelry fashion at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards was a lot like that bittersweet ..."

Golden Globes: Hollywood SHINES in Platinum Jewels...

By Fred Leighton

This is the Mauboussin 1940's necklace that Alicia Keys wore last night at the Golden Globe Awards. It is an interesting Retro design set in yellow gold and diamonds with a double fancy link chain twisted in an original bow at the front. A grand piece but delicate, specially when compared to the bold style of the 1940's. A great choice to wear last night!.

View a full list of jewelry worn at the Golden Globes: Hollywood SHINES in Platinum Jewels...

Golden Globes: Jewelry done right

Photos: Top: Julianne Moore, left, Claire Danes and Natalie Portman. Credits: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters, Matt J. Terrill / Associated Press and Jason Merritt / Getty Images.

From left to right: Bulgari, Fred Leighton and Tiffany vintage pieces, perfect outfits!

Read LA Times article: Golden Globes: Jewelry done right

VERDURA: diamond hidden evening watch

An extremely unusual evening watch signed by Verdura. And it has his name all over the design with the diamond set grenade shaped clasp/hidden watch.

It will be sold at Sotheby's New York, on february 2nd.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

PAUL FLATO: a 195 carats citrine bangle!

Paul Flato was born in 1900 in Flatonia, Texas. He opened his first shop in the Fifth Avenue in New York in the 1920s. He was a pioneer focusing on design rather than stones and during the 1930's he hired great designers, including Fulco di Verdura. Even though his branch in Sunset Boulevard was open only for two years he was a favourite to actresses like Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. In 1970, he went to Mexico DF where he lived and worked for more than 20 years.

This bangle with an original design and a 195 carats citrine looks as modern today as it must have been in the 1940's when it was produced. Both the bangle and the ring below will be auctioned by Sotheby's New York on February 2nd.

SEVAN BICAKCI in the New York Times

MARCUS & CO: A Belle Epoque black opal pendant necklace

Hermann Marcus worked for Louis Comfort Tiffany before joining his son William in their own shop Marcus & Co in 1884. They were one of the first ones to design Art Nouveau jewelry in America. This pendant, featuring a great quality black opal, was produced around 1910-1915 and is set in the Belle Epoque "garland style".

It will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on february 2nd.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

VIRTUAL EXHIBITION: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani

Presented by Farlang

"The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani presents an array of precious objects from the ancient kingdom of Colchis, in what is today the Republic of Georgia. The excavation of a series of rich burials and other discoveries at the city of Vani have revealed a highly developed culture that had its own religious and artistic practices, yet also embraced and adapted influences from neighboring peoples" 

At the Getty Villa Museum

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: a contemporary diamond watch

This is Van Cleef's interpretation of the evening watch from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco periods. Set on a black strap with the watch hidden underneath a c. 5.5 carat pave of diamonds. A modern jewel worthy of its ancestors.

This Van Cleef & Arpels watch comes up for auction at Sotheby's New York on February 2nd.

An ART DECO diamond watch by Rolex

"Art Deco was the last truly sumptuous style", this is the best definition for the Art Deco style that I have found and it is the opening line of Alastair Duncan's book by Thames & Hudson. It was the time between the first and the second world wars when women had started to have some independence but they felt no obligations since the war was over, so watches were more an adornment than a necessity.

The "watch bracelet" became fashionable in the early 1920's thanks to the sleeveless dresses and a new passion for sports. It was french couturier Jean Pattou who invented the "garconne" look in the world of high end fashion by designing a tennis outfit for contemporary champion Suzanne Lenglen.  The day piece was very plain but the evening watch was a jewel.

This watch by Rolex comes up for auction at Christie's, London on january 19th.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: retrospective exhibition in New York

NYC's Cooper-Hewitt to host Van Cleef exhibition | JA New York
Photo by David Behl

The New York - Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is hosting an exhibition of 300 pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels. The Exhibition, called "Set in style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels" will run from february 18th to june 5th. 

A must on this year's calendar!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: a hammered gold and diamonds necklace

A haute jewellery piece has to as beautiful when looked at from the front, the back and the reverse. It has to be equally finished and embellished consistently all around. This necklace is exactly not that. A beautiful and original designed necklace, comprised of graduated foliate links in hammered gold which are set in diamonds but only in the front half, no diamonds on the back half!. Disappointing that even Van Cleef can fall for the unfinished piece trick. The design is superb though and the necklace, from 1961, quite rare, and the missing stones could always be added...

J.W. BENSON: delicate earrings and victorian tasteful jewelry

Delightful pair of gold pendant earrings by Victorian jeweller J.W. Benson, a well known watchmaker who held royal warrants and appointments to the admiralty. Besides watches and clocks, Benson's also produced really fine jewellery a which led them to be able to take over rival firm Hunt & Roskell in 1889.

This great pair of earrings are a great example that fine jewelry does not need to be pricy. They are one of the latest acquisitions by London's antique dealer Hancocks.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

RAMI ABBOUD: Studio Jewels from Lebanon

Lebanese contemporary jeweller Rami Abboud has put Beirut at the forefront of jewelry design thanks to his unique pieces. An extremely original designer and very brave and modern jeweller, Rami's experiments are rare amongst his contemporaries because he uses noble and fine stones but on the uncommon range like black diamonds or the boulder opal in the ring featured. His pieces are always on the edge and they have earned him well deserved recognition in New York like his presence in the exhibition Elegant Armor: the art of jewelry, at the Museum of Arts and Design.

I found this ring for sale at Aaron Faber, New York.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Paris BVLGARI Exhibition...two days left

Only two days left for this great exhibition in Paris, for those who could not make, we hope there will be a next one at some other location soon, in the meantime, the web catalog is worth exploring!

View Bvlgary website catalog

AKELO and CASTELLANI: shared etruscan ancestors

Photo © Akelo – Andrea Cagnetti – All Right Reserved – Used with permission

Two Roman geniuses; Castellani, as one of the first jewellers that signed his pieces and Akelo, one of the few contemporary artists exploring ancient techniques. One shared inspiration, the 3000 years old Etruscan Jewellery. The necklace above, by Akelo, is a magnificent example of his work  from 1998, and his mastering of gold craftsmanship specially when it comes to engraving. The necklace below, found at SJ Phillips, London was made by Castellani in 1872 and displays similar engraving mastering decorated with a micromosaic. Both pendants hang from a fancy foxtail link chain, and both are unique and extraordinary.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A TIFFANY tanzanite estate ring

This is a great diamond setting by Donald Clafin for Tiffany and Co from the 1960's featuring a great cushion-cut tanzanite stone. Tanzanite is the latest gem ever discovered worldwide. It was first found by gemologist John Saul in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in 1967. He presented the crystal to the then Chairman of Tiffany's who immediately decided to take the lead in its introduction to the fine jewellery market changing its name from Zoisite to Tanzanite due to its origin. It is 1,000 times more rare than diamonds and the mines are expected to run out in ten years.

I found this ring at Macklowe Gallery

Friday, 7 January 2011

An Art Deco tutti frutti bracelet

This is a truly magnificent Art Deco Tutti Frutti bracelet with diamonds, carved emeralds and sapphires and cabochon rubies and onix. It is dated in 1925 and it bears the hallmarks for Henri Picq who was known for having crafted many Tutti Frutti pieces for Cartier.

I found this bracelet at exclusive London Mayfair antique dealer  Sandra Cronan.

A Jean MAHIE Jade bangle bracelet

Jean Mahie was set in the early 1970's by Jacline Mazard and her father in law, who had just sold Prenatal and wanted to devote himself to something more artistic. Jacline was a painter and only 22 when she decided to design jewellery since it was "sculpture you could wear". The success was imminent, Louis Arpels, 82 at the time, saw their work and in november 1970 they had their creations displayed by Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier under their own Mahie brand. Soon other followed and the brand became an icon in New York. Today Jacline continues creating her rare pieces from her studio in Paris. All of them are unique and made in 22ct gold, chosen for its hardness.

I found this great bracelet for sale at Beladora.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Jackie Kennedy's 10th anniversary ring

JFK gave this emerald eternity band to Jackie Kennedy on their 10th wedding anniversary. He had the ring made by Van Cleef & Arpels and set with ten emeralds, Jackie's favourite stone.

Read the full story

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Couture Jeweler Sevan Bicakci with Fred Leighton

just check the ring!...scary!

View full article from Couture Blog


Lluis Masriera i Roses was Born in Barcelona in 1872. He belonged to a long tradition of painters and goldsmiths and became famous for mastering the translucent enamel technique in the Modernist and Art Nouveau styles at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Later he would join the Art Deco movement as well, but he is still renowned for his former contribution. Today the firm continues manufacturing pieces under the brand Bagues Masriera, a merger of the two catalan jewellery family businesses founded in 1917 and 1839 respectively.

View Masriera shop

SEVAN BICAKCI and the otoman jewelry

Sevan Bicakci was born in Turkey and started his apprenticeship as goldsmith at the age of twelve. He launched his first set of signature pieces in year 2000 and in just a decade he is treasured by collectors and stocked at art and antique dealer galleries. His pieces are extremely unusual and unique and display a rare oriental rough beauty inspired by the ancient culture of Istanbul. Excellent craftsmanship.
All photos © Sevan Bicakci – All Right Reserved – Used with permission

AKELO etruscan revival necklace

Beautifully crafted necklace by Akelo. Andrea Cagnetti's pieces are one of those rare cases of art jewelry that goes straight into museums. The techniques employed are the same used by the etruscan more than 3000 years ago. This contemporary artist/jeweller has mastered both the design and craftsmanship in each one of his original creations.

All photos © Akelo – Andrea Cagnetti – All Right Reserved – Used with permission

A SCHLUMBERGER for Tiffany aquamarine ring

This is a great design by Schlumberger for Tiffany from the 1980s. The beautiful aquamarine is en-clustered in a very original floral setting of diamonds and sapphires.

I found the ring at Kentshire, NY.

A TIFFANY black opal ring

A magnificent black opal set in a cluster diamond ring by Tiffany & Co. Black Opal is the stone of many fires and colours and recently it comes from the Australian mines that were discovered during the times of Queen Victoria. It was considered an unlucky stone until the Queen made it popular by giving one as a marriage present to each one of her daughters. Opals then became fashionable in Europe and exports from the then British colony flourished.

The ring is for sale at Kentshire, NY.

OSCAR HEYMAN & Bros.: A diamond bangle

An extremely original design by Oscar Heyman & Bros, New York. It is an undulated design golden bangle set with diamonds. The piece is dated in 1965 and it has been recently acquired by Kentshire.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A GIULIANO sapphire antique ring

This is a magnificent antique ring by Giuliano. The piece is dated in 1875 and presents a great sapphire in a gold enamelled setting. The ring shows the typical Giuliano drawings in coloured enamel that enhances the stone in a unique and extremely original way. It was donated to the V&A Museum in London and it is displayed in the permanent jewellery collection.