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Monday, 28 February 2011

Oscar 2011 jewelry recap - Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway wearing a platinum and 94.25ct diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co and diamond Tiffany earrings, worth...$10M

The Opal series: J.E. CALDWELL opal ring


In 1839, James Emmott Caldwell, a New York City trained jeweler, began to supply wealthy Philadelphians with stylish European jewelry, silver, and objets d'art.  Business soon flourished and over several decades, the store moved to more fashionable premises in Chestnut Street also changing owners several times. In 1868, the firm was officially established as J.E. Caldwell and Co.and towards the end of the nineteenth century, the firm began to hand fabricate beautiful gem-set jewels which are heralded among the finest examples of American Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewelery. Caldwell were 'the' jeweler to the establishment in the city of brotherly love, their clientele consisting mostly of married and conservative people. Around the turn of the century, finely chased surfaces, were combined with unusual gemstones such as Opals, complimented with typical Nouveau motifs: curvaceous women, vines, garlands, flowers, and insects. Throughout the 1920’s, the firm produced fine pieces of Art Deco jewelry, now well sought after by collectors. The company’s tradition of using fine Opals continued into the Deco period, and beyond, whereas Opal was no longer the gemstone of choice in the new era. J.E. Caldwell continues to offer high quality jewels according to the current styles.



Sunday, 27 February 2011

VCA, Set in Style-Personalities: Diamond necklace from Eva Peron


This necklace was made by Van Cleef & Arpels in New York in 1949. It belonged to Eva Peron at the time when she was Argentina's First lady. It is displayed in the Personalities section at the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition and it now belongs to a private collector.



Saturday, 26 February 2011

PAUL FLATO: "The glittering life of a jeweller"


This is the story of a piece as well as of a great jeweller. First comes the book, Paul Flato Jeweler to the Stars by Elizabeth Irvine, just published in October 2010 and which has set the limelight again over the accomplished celebrity jewellery designer from the 1940's. Then comes the piece that is in the cover of the book; it is the aquamarine and ruby belt necklace designed by Paul Flato for Mrs. Cole Porter who gave it to Ava Astaire. Years later, the necklace was acquired directly from her by London Antique dealer McKenna & Co who sold it in 1995 to a New York collector. The piece reappeared in public in several exhibitions including in 2008 at the reopening of Fred Leighton's Beverly Hill branch. If the necklace looks kitsch today, it must have been shocking in 1937!.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Opal series: MARCUS & CO, opals from Art Nouveau to Art Deco


Marcus & Co. of New York was established in 1892 by German immigrant Herman Marcus. Herman first worked for Tiffany and then Theodore B. Starr, establishing Starr & Marcus. In the 1920's William Marcus opened Marcus & Co. branches in London, Paris and Palm Beach. Raymond C. Yard worked as door boy for Marcus & Co. before achieving recognition on his own.
In 1908 Marcus & Co. advertised "Black Opals are Luck Stones" in the New York Times and that they had acquired "the entire last year's output" of Black Opals from Lightning Ridge. The cache of stones was no doubt supplied by Tully Wollaston and Marcus one of, if not, the enterprising jeweller Wollaston most admirably refers to. Marcus & Co. was one of the most highly regarded American jewellery Houses of its day, receiving praise from the French jeweler & historian Henri Vever for beautiful design and masterful execution. Australian Opals including Black Opals, Light Opals and Boulder Opals all appeared in Marcus jewellery frequently. They were expertly cut, engraved and assembled by the company's own lapidaries.


VCA, Set in Style-Exoticism: Cambodian Bracelet


Van Cleef & Arpels made this bracelet in Paris in 1938. Art Deco artists took inspiration on anything exotic, the egyptian revival, Indian and Chinese movements from this period are well known. Cambodia was then still a french colony and that is where Van Cleef got the idea for this magnificent diamond bracelet.

The piece is displayed at the Exoticism section in the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition and it belongs to Van Cleef's collection.


Thursday, 24 February 2011

VCA, Set in Style-Nature: Orchid Brooch


This is a great brooch made by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1928. At the height of Art Deco, it must have been quite an unusual design at the time to choose an orchid which was one of the icons of the Art Nouveau period. The Art Deco features of this piece are the platinum set with different cut diamonds: brilliant, pave and baguette... Don't know if JAR knew about this piece but it is one that could have inspired him!.

The brooch is displayed in the Nature section at the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition and it belongs to the Van Cleef & Arpels collection.

View Museum

The Opal series: a BUCCELATTI opal ring


Photo by Opals Information

Mario Buccellati opened his first shop in Milan in 1919. In the following years he made jewelry for the royal families of ItalySpain and Egypt, as well as Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, among others. In 1925 he opened in Rome followed by Florence in 1929 and New York in 1953. In 1965 the founder's three sons, all goldsmiths, reformed the company to preserve the Buccellati style. According to the company's creative director and daughter of Gianmaria, as a child she sometimes played with the rare Opal egg which years later was on show at the Smithsonian, now netted in diamonds. Under the leadership of Gianmaria Buccellati and his children Maria Christina,  Andrea and Gino, 70 Italian craftspeople create personalised jewels featuring texture-engraved gold  Their unique artistry can be enjoyed in exclusive boutiques in Milan, Sardinia, Paris, New York, and Beverly Hills, as well as franchises in Venice, Capri, Elba, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Osaka. The firm in the United States is known as Buccellati. But because of the other brothers Lorenzo and Federico's shops in Europe, Gianmaria's European boutiques are called Gianmaria Buccellati. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

KIMBERLY McDONALD: eco friendly and fantastic design


American jeweller Kimberly McDonald has made her mission to use only materials and stone in the natural form because she thinks there are enough beautiful things unused and there is no need to pillage nature. That sets her already apart in the jewelry world but her most remarkable achievement is the beauty she has managed to create in her original pieces. She uses geode and agate, or recycled wood and gold and combines them with rough diamonds and baroque pearls. The result is extraordinary and she is worthy of the huge success the her work has achieved amongst celebrities. Someone to watch and start collecting!.

VCA, Set in Style-Transformations: Detachable Brooch


This Van Cleef & Arpels brooch was made in New York in 1971. It belongs to the "Transformations" section at the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition. The wings come off to become earrings, the tail can be stripped out as another smaller brooch and the pendant can be worn separately!. Not my style, but it is definitely imaginative and practical.

View Museum

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Jewelry Insider™: Oscar Jewelry Hall of Fame

Jewelry Insider™: Oscar Jewelry Hall of Fame: "It's Oscar Week, and to get the jewelry juices flowing I've collected what I (humbly) think are some of the best Oscar jewelry moments for ..."

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: "The Contract Bracelet" of the Duchess of Windsor



This bracelet was a wedding present from the Duke of Windsor to Wallis Simpon with the inscription "For our contract 18-V-37". It was commissioned to Van Cleef and Arpels and it features a wide diamond flexible band and a spectacular centre piece of cabochon sapphires.


The Opal series: MARCHAK


Joseph Marchak established his firm in 1878. Known as the 'Cartier of Kiev', Marchak was a household name in Russia, he and his contemporary Faberge were the appointed jewellers to the Romanov Tsars. His son Alexander Marchak immigrated to Paris from Russia at the start of the Russian Revolution, rising to prominence during the Art Deco period, having exhibited at the 1925 Paris Exhibition of Decorative Arts. Favourite themes were birds and floral sprays, all highly romanticized and decorated in the most colourful precious and semi-precious gemstones including Opals.






Monday, 21 February 2011

The VAN CLEEF & ARPELS bracelet for Marlene Dietrich



We continue focusing on Van Cleef & Arpels due to the New York exhibition!. This magnificent bracelet was designed for Marlene Dietrich in the 1950's recycling rubies and diamonds from several pieces of jewellery belonging to the actress. She wore it in many occasions and she was often photographed wearing it, including at the film "Stage Frigh". It was sold in auction after her death and it now belongs to a NY private collector.


Van Cleef & Arpels
In 1896 Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stone dealer, married Alfred van Cleef, son of an Amsterdam diamond cutter. Ten years later Alfred opened a shop in Place Vendome with his brother in law Charles. Julien and Louis Arpels will soon join them. In 1926, Renee Puisant, daughter of Alfred and Estelle starts her designing career with Rene Sim Lacaze, these would be some of the most creative years of the firm and the beginning of the second generation; in 1930 Van Cleef invented the Minaudiere, a precious metal and stones vanity case for the women of a new era; in 1933 the firm created the Mystery setting and also in this decade the transformable pieces were born as well as the famous zip necklace, suggested by the Duchess of Windsor. 1939 the New York boutique is open. In 1968 the firm launches the famous Alhambra collection.


Photo by InStyle - Everett Collection


VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Set in Style, NY Exhibition


The exhibition about "Van Cleef and Arpels: set in Style" at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York is a must see! Not only it features 350 magnificent pieces belonging to private collectors around the world but it is also curated to perfection. Exquisite taste selecting the works, great documentation and innovative display!, what else can we ask in an exhibition?.

The exhibition is organised around six topics: innovation, transformations, nature, exoticism, fashion and personalities.

The brooch above is great Art Deco onix, emerald and diamond Anneau design from 1919.  It is displayed in th Innovation section at the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition and it belongs to Van Cleef's collection.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Opal series: SEAMAN SCHEPPS opal set


Seaman Schepps created one of America's most avant-garde jewelry companies of the 20th century. He started out as a purveyor of jewelry and art objects, prior to designing his own jewels, as of 1926. His boutique in New York City offered one-of-a-kind original designs in the Arts & Crafts Movement. Schepps designed wearable works of art featuring unusual materials, such as shell, ivory, turquoise, Opal, wood, coral, and rock crystal as well as found materials such as glass. The company reached its zenith in the 1940s and 1950s, where bold animal themed designs graced celebrities and high society, alike. Through the patronage of the Rockefellers and the British Royal Family to Marlene Dietrich and Andy Warhol, Seaman Schepps' dazzling jewels graced the covers of Town & Country, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Although he passed away in 1972, Seaman Schepps legacy of unusual, artistic designs continues to be offered today.


Extract from Opals Information, read full story

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Grace Kelly's pearls


Prince Rainier III of Monaco wedding present to Grace Kelly was a set of diamonds and pearls by Van Cleef & Arpels consisting of a bracelet, a necklace and a pair of earrings. She wore it all together in many occasions and surprisingly it did not even look too much!.

The pieces are displayed in the Personalities section at the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition and the belong to the Private Collection of Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, Principality of Monaco



Van Cleef & Arpels
In 1896 Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stone dealer, married Alfred van Cleef, son of an Amsterdam diamond cutter. Ten years later Alfred opened a shop in Place Vendome with his brother in law Charles. Julien and Louis Arpels will soon join them. In 1926, Renee Puisant, daughter of Alfred and Estelle starts her designing career with Rene Sim Lacaze, these would be some of the most creative years of the firm and the beginning of the second generation; in 1930 Van Cleef invented the Minaudiere, a precious metal and stones vanity case for the women of a new era; in 1933 the firm created the Mystery setting and also in this decade the transformable pieces were born as well as the famous zip necklace, suggested by the Duchess of Windsor. 1939 the New York boutique is open. In 1968 the firm launches the famous Alhambra collection.


Photo from InStyle - Everett Collection

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Opal series: VERDURA's opal ring


Photo by Opals Information

Born a Sicilian Duke, Fulco di Verdura (1899-1978), began his career in 1920's Paris collaborating with Coco Chanel as a textile designer and later as a jewelery designer for her boutique costume jewelry collections. Verdura went to America in 1934 where he soon became head designer for Paul Flato, Hollywood's society jeweller of the 1930's. In 1939 Verdura established himself in New York and through the 50s and 60's was the master jeweler of choice for the glitteratti; "Verdura ended up being the jeweler to the stars because at the time, the movie studios were paying to have jewelry made specifically for the films and would give the jewels to the actresses as part of their payment." Says Ward Landrigan who now operates the Verdura brand and has been reproducing collections from more than 4000 sketches since 1984.
Verdura's is not ''hang a cheque around your neck'' jewelry, his is witty and ultrasophisticated, shells set with precious stones, natural motifs and the most colourful of gemstones. His deployment of Opals was arguablyde rigueur, the results however were enchanting and the stones most enlightened by his unorthodox style.
''No one can hold a candle to Verdura, there is so much erudition, taste and fantasy involved in each of the pieces.  The jewelry is not for insecure people and does not appeal to the herd instinct. Women who wear Verdura don't want to look like every other person wearing their Van Cleef diamond flower pin, their Chanel suit and their Prada bag. It is the ultimate status symbol, recognized only by its initiates, who might wink at each other across a crowded room.'' Says Amy Fine Collins, fashion writer for Vanity Fair.
Collins considers Verdura the 20th century's best jewelry designer and the New York Times proclaimed Verdura 'America's Crown Jeweler'.

JEAN SCHLUMBERGER: The Liz Taylor Dolphin Brooch for Tiffany & Co


The match of the piece, the style, the personality...what a grand picture!


Schlumberger
Jean Schlumberger was born in France in 1907 in a textile dedicated family. He preferred jewellery and he used to give flower pins made by himself to his friends. Like Verdura, he raised to stardom by coming across a great couturier, instead of Coco Chanel, in his case it was Elsa Schiaparelli who hired him to design costume jewellery. In 1956 Tiffany & Co offered him a leading designer position allowing him to sign his pieces with his own name. His style is so personal, that his jewels have become an icon for collectors.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Opal series: MAUBOUSSIN opal jellyfish brooch



It was Paris1827, the year when the House of Mauboussin opened. The firm specialized in highly stylized architectural jewels set with precious gems of vibrant hue, often Opals, accented by sparkling white diamonds. They exhibited at the 1925 International Exhibition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and won the grand prize. Georges Mauboussin believed that jewelry should reflect the wearer's personality with a jeweled accent. Its Reflection series struck a chord with socialites and celebrities, such as Marlene Dietrich, who flocked to Mauboussin. The company opened offices in Buenos Aires and London prior to New York, in 1929. The ill-timed opening of their New York branch coincided with the stock market crash the same year. A weakened Mauboussin merged with Trabert & Hoeffer, Inc.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

GURHAN: contemporary jewels and a fascinating story

Gurhan Orhan was born in 1954 in Ankara, Turkey. I am so fascinated by his story as much as by his pieces. He studied Mathematics and Business in Ankara but became a first a musician and then a nightclub entrepreneur in Ankara with so much charisma that he turned into a local celebrity in the 1970's. A decade later, he moved to Switzerland to learn how to make watches! and created very exclusive and limited editions for collectors. In the 1990's he visited Istanbul and fell in love with 24 carat gold as working material. He became a jeweller and got his inspiration in ancient designs and techniques. Only five years later he was discovered by a New York based investment banker, Fiona Tilley, who convinced him to enter the US market. Two years later they made it into no less than Barneys and conquered the US press as well as Fiona!, they married in 1999. Since then it is all a success story, he mastered pure platinum and silver, and his pieces became treasured by celebrities, being featured even in Sex & the City. He continues producing and designing trendy and unique jewellery today, but in 2004 he also decided to became a photographer and a curator (for the Metropolitan Museum of NY, no less).

It is difficult to imagine a life more intense and his pieces are a reflection of his spirit. The bracelet featured above, in pure 24 carat gold features a great rutilated quarz as a center piece and it belongs to his one of a kind selection.

View Gurhan collection

The Opal series: DAVID WEBB opal pendant


Formed in 1946 by partners David Webb and Nina Silberstein, David Webb Inc. created colorful jewelry recognized for its bold, sculptural design. Webb drew inspiration from the work of Cartier, Seaman Schepps, Faberge and Verdura. His passion for color, texture, enamel, gems and unusual materials brought him to the forefront of jewelry design in the 1950s and 1960s. His fondness for nature and ancient cultures influenced his most famous motifs, stylized animals and flowers. David Webb created contemporary wearable gold sculptures until his death in 1975. He left behind a legacy as one of the pioneers of American jewelry design. David Webb Inc. continues to produce jewelry based upon original artwork and sketches under the guidance of the Silberstein family.





Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tory Burch spotlight on: VERDURA




Fulco Verdura, the genius aristocrat that designed Coco Chanel's jewellery and then moved to New York to be the revolution of society, is portrayed in this article by Tory Burch. The best quote: "sell everything but not the Verdura"!

Read full Spotlight

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Opal series: VEVER Art Nouveau pendant





The family firm Vever was founded in Paris in 1821. When grandson Henri Vever (1854-1943) took control of the company he was already a distinguished jeweler, writer, and art collector. Vever's artistic approach and his use of enamel was often likened to that of Rene Lalique, and he too was enamoured of Opals. Henri Vever is particularly noted for expertly inlay setting Opals into his lavish creations. The House of Vever accomplished their greatest work during the Art Nouveau period with the highlight being the 1900 Paris Exposition. Maison Vever continued to make fabulous jewelry and objects d'art through the Art Deco era.



CARLA AMORIM Brazilian Jewelry: the ruffle earrings by Emily Blunt


These diamond and feldspat quarz earrings by Carla Amorim are a beautiful and delicate design, and the best way to appreciate them is by seeing them on, like in the case of Emily Blunt's picture. What I find remarkable in the case of this earrings, is how the designer has turned a relatively common mineral stone like feldspat quarz into the prefect fitting for such a delicate finishing.

Jewellery at the 2011 BAFTAs | The Jewellery Editor

Have a closer look at which star wore what to the 2011 BAFTAs | The Jewellery Editor

Monday, 14 February 2011

Jewelry Insider™: 2011 Grammy Awards Jewelry Roundup: It's All In th...

Jewelry Insider™: 2011 Grammy Awards Jewelry Roundup: It's All In th...: "While the whole 'Lady Gaga arriving in a big egg' stunt felt a little (um) tired to me, the jewelry fashion was refreshingly fun at the 2011..."

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Jackie Kennedy's hammered gold cuff bracelet


Jackie Kennedy continues inspiring women worldwide as an unmatched style icon. This photo shows her wearing a Van Cleef and Arpels hammered gold bracelet of etruscan inspiration. It was taken in the 1970's but she looks so modern that it could easily be out of this season's trends!.


Sunday, 13 February 2011

MAHIE: 1970's Erotic ring


A 22ct gold ring designed by Jean Mahie in the 1970's featuring the shape of a naked woman. How much hippier can you get?. 


BHB: To Find Value - Know What You're Buying

BHB: To Find Value - Know What You're Buying

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A BOUCHERON 1940's brooch


I find this 1940's double clip brooch by Boucheron has a great design. It features a fan shape of two colour gold with diamonds and emerald cut yellow sapphires. It would look amazing as a pendant on a turbo gas bold golden necklace.




Boucheron
Frédéric Boucheron opened his first jewellery salon at the Palais Royal in 1858, and soon acquired fame as an expert in precious stones. A masterful technician and a creator of beautiful jewellery, he was the first jeweller to set up a shop in 1893 at the Place Vendôme, where the firm still operates successfully today. Over the years, the Maison Boucheron opened branches in Moscow and London, and also in japan, the Middle and Far East. Boucheron exhibited in many international expositions including the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial; the 1889 and 1900 Expositions Universelle in Paris, the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago; and the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Today the firm belongs to the Gucci group.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

CARTIER and China: the Art Deco chimera bracelet

Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

Cartier first travelled to China as early as 1888 attracted to learning the lacquer techniques requested by the commissions of the Viscountess of Bonnemain. He became fascinated with the culture, the silks and materials, the iconography and design to the extent that a few years later, Cartier mixed Art Deco with the Chinese art creating a fashion followed all over the world. Not only he adopted the jade and coral carving techniques, Cartier also incorporated the Asian myths and symbolism into his pieces.

The Chimera bracelet, like the one featured above, automatically became an Art Deco classic; it mixes indian and asian cultures and represents the famous legendary monster with two heads. Cartier's genius took this ancient design to another level by combining enamel with carved coral and emeralds and with cabochon sapphires and different cut diamonds. This piece was made in 1928, may not be unique but it most certainly is a collectable!.





Van Cleef & Arpels stars in The King's Speech | The Jewellery Editor

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

CARLA AMORIM Brazilian Jewelry: the Gwyneth Paltrow caviar ring



Carla Amorim was born in Brasilia and started creating jewelry as a hobby but she designs soon caught the eye of Hollywood stars and became famous around the world. Her pieces are original but delicate without falling on the bold or girly category. She says there are three main things that influence her work: the Brazilian nature, the architecture of Brasilia (and that's where she's got me!) inspired by Oscar Niemayer and her religious faith.

I particularly find her rings spectacular, like the one featured in this post with black gold and black diamonds, worn by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Monday, 7 February 2011

BOUCHERON: celebrates the chinese new year... of the rabbit

I would not normally write about new collections unless they are pieces by new designers or art jewellers for the "Discoveries" section, and Boucheron can hardly fit in that section!. However, i could not resist the Cabinet de Curiosites high jewelry collection specially when celebrating the chinese year of the rabbit!.

The whole range of rings featuring different animals in pave set diamonds and coloured stones is extremely beautiful and so daring that only a great house like Boucheron could have executed such an unusual topic for jewellery with this perfection.

My favourite...the camel ring, but the monkeys, the frogs, the elephants and even the panda bear cannot be missed!

Boucheron
Frédéric Boucheron opened his first jewellery salon at the Palais Royal in 1858, and soon acquired fame as an expert in precious stones. A masterful technician and a creator of beautiful jewellery, he was the first jeweller to set up a shop in 1893 at the Place Vendôme, where the firm still operates successfully today. Over the years, the Maison Boucheron opened branches in Moscow and London, and also in japan, the Middle and Far East. Boucheron exhibited in many international expositions including the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial; the 1889 and 1900 Expositions Universelle in Paris, the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago; and the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Today the firm belongs to the Gucci group.



Sunday, 6 February 2011

The 44 SUPERBOWL rings...



It's superbowl night!, and i just found this great picture and link to the story of all the 44 superbowl rings made so far. One could think...this is not exactly fine jewellery and how does it fit on this blog?, but actually, they all are unique, cost more that $20,000... whether they are beautiful, it's a different story!, but for sure they are sought after!!

Enjoy!

A 1940's gold and diamond "fence" bracelet


This is a great bracelet made in France during the 1940's. It features an articulated design of gold bands joined by diamond-set links. It is not signed, but what I really like about this bracelet is the design, the piece was made 70 years ago and it looks as if it could be out of a 2011 high jewelry collection!.

The bracelet is for sale at Robin Katz, New York.

LALAOUNIS: a square link necklace


This is another great example of Lalaounis mastering gold techniques. The square links of this necklace feature an interesting texture due to piercing and hammering work. The design, as in all Lalaounis pieces, is inspired in ancient greek jewellery. The piece comes up for auction at Bonhams London this week.

View lot details



Ilias Lalaounis
Born in 1920 in a greek family of goldsmiths. He studied law and economics but decided to join the family business, Zolotas in 1940. He took over the running of the company during the first world war while taking drawing lessons. In 1957 at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, he exhibited his gold pieces inspired by ancient greek ones for the first time. All throughout his life, archaeological greek revival would be his preferred style and manually hammered gold his preferred technique. In 1969, Lalaounis decided to set up his own business separate from his family. Lalaounis has received many prizes for his art with the outmost important being that of the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1990, as the only jeweller ever to be elected as its member. Today the company and his museum are run by his four daughters.

Jewellery: the cuff bracelet - soFeminine.co.uk

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A BOUCHERON scarf golden necklace

This modern and wearable chainmail scarf necklace by Boucheron comes up for auction this week at Bonhams London at an incredibly great value estimate. It is signed by one of the best jewellery makers, more that one meter long with exquisite craftsmanship and a design inspired in Verdura's famous scarf necklaces from the 1960's.



Frédéric Boucheron opened his first jewellery salon at the Palais Royal in 1858, and soon acquired fame as an expert in precious stones. A masterful technician and a creator of beautiful jewellery, he was the first jeweller to set up a shop in 1893 at the Place Vendôme, where the firm still operates successfully today. Over the years, the Maison Boucheron opened branches in Moscow and London, and also in japan, the Middle and Far East. Boucheron exhibited in many international expositions including the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial; the 1889 and 1900 Expositions Universelle in Paris, the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago; and the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Today the firm belongs to the Gucci group.



Friday, 4 February 2011

And the first CARTIER panther was... a watch in 1914!!

Photo: N. Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier


That Cartier was the pioneer of the Art Deco style... we all know, but I have to confess to have been surprised when I found  this watch at the Cartier Archives! This watch was created in 1914, not only was it eleven years before the 1925 Arts Decoratifs Paris Exhibition but also it was the first jewel ever made to display the "dotted" motif, the flecking diamonds and onix pattern that is a favourite even today, some 100 years later; which jewellery design has withstood time like this one?!

That same year, Louise Cartier ordered a watercolour from George Barbier titled "A Woman with a Panther" which would be used as an exhibition poster and for advertising cards.

Cartier Archives © Cartier

Thursday, 3 February 2011

A Rene BOIVIN late art deco ring with a canary diamond


A fine jewel of the late Art Deco period signed by Rene Boivin, and dated in1936. The ring features an emerald cut canary diamond which was rarely used at the time in high jewellery.  The geometrical design is characteristic of the abstract trend in Art Deco, inspired by the new art movements that were developed in the first half of the twentieth century. The ring combines diamonds in three different cuts which a typical feature of Art deco as well. 

I found this ring at Symbolic & Chase, London