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.