Tuesday, 24 January 2012

George FOUQUET: Art Nouveau tortoiseshell hair comb

George Fouquet made this hair adornment between 1905 and 1908. The materials are clearly Art Nouveau, carved tortoiseshell, enamel and opals. The design, however hints towards the egyptian Art Deco trend that would come a few years after it was made. One of the things about jewellery in the beginning of the Twentieth Century that I find fascinating has to do with how it adapted to the revolutionary change in fashion brought by Paul Poiret first and shortly after by Coco Chanel; corsets and bustles disappeared and with them the heavy pectorals and corsage jewels, necklines were lowered and a whole new range of necklaces and pendants could then be shown and the hair style was shortened turning tiaras into much smaller and lighter hair combs. In general, jewellery became much more delicate and smaller.

The piece above will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on February 9th.

Monday, 23 January 2012

LALIQUE: Opal and enamel dragonfly brooch

A beautiful brooch/pendant by made by Lalique in 1903/1904 set with white opals in enamelled gold. The most striking feature are the two facing dragonflies which wings are applied with plique-a-jour enamel so delicate and transparent that it almost looks like coloured glass!.

It will be auctioned by Sotheby's New York on February 9th.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

JAR: highly unusual ear clips

JAR presented a most unusual collection of ear clips, like the two above, made of anodiced titanium or gilded metal at the London Masterpiece fair last june. It comes as no surprise that these pieces have already become collectables and are being auctioned at Sotheby's New York next february 9th.

Like anything made by JAR, they are surprising and extraordinary, uniquely light, shaped as rose petals they look stunning on and yet at the same time, they are incredibly discreet, they could definitely be the comeback of ear clips for the 21st Century! 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

An extraordinary baroque pearl pendant by LALIQUE

When Rene Lalique presented seventeen pieces and four drawings in 1985 at the Salon des Artistes in Paris the jewellery world went upside down. Not only was a pioneer and created the Art Nouveau style, he was a true rebel and questioned all the basic principles that had grounded jewellery for centuries: A piece should be valued for the artistry of its design and its colour harmony more than for the price of the precious metals and stones it displayed. And he went further, to prove it, his designs used all kind of affordable semi precious stones, enamel and unconventional materials like ivory or tortoiseshell. At the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 he was already revered as a Modernist genius and the style had rapidly expanded across Europe and the US. By 1905 the Art Nouveau movement had disappeared; it died of its own success, the "cheapness" of the materials attracted many craftsmen, artists and jewellers that could not have afforded entering the trade otherwise, they were driven by an unprecedented demand also caused by the prices. Thus, a huge number of replicas and uninteresting cheap versions of Lalique's work flooded the market and the style was then dismissed by the elite.

Only Lalique's creations and those a few others like George Fouquet, Gaillard, Henry Vever Wolfers or Louis Comfort Tiffany have survived as true masterpieces. The pendant above is a great example of this and it is part of a small collection of important Art Nouveau pieces that will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on february 9th. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Forever Dancing... by WALLACE CHAN

Opal, crystal and fancy coloured diamonds have been used to create this unbelievable brooch. This is Wallace Chan at his best!

"An artist, along with extraordinary creativity, must also possess passion and breadth of mind, a philosopher’s way of thinking and a craftsman’s superior technique.  This combination permits the artist to create freely and set new standards – touching souls while breaking every frame of references.

Fine Jewelrythe New Art

Artistic wisdom, defying geometry, he elongates, distorts and foreshortens shapes in pursuit of fluidity.  Capturing the spirit of Zen yet setting free the gentle spirit: giving rise to the unique Wallace Chan style.

He tells us that jewelry can also be made into art, like painting, sculpture and music as expression of the creator’s inner thoughts, and refining of the deep philosophy of life.

Deconstructed design, lifelike realism, simple elegance, he wisely uses the minerals of Nature, with materials resisting a creative idea, being uncombinable, marries them with technical wizardry.  Wallace Chan’s art expresses the soul and spirit of humanity: leaving us amazed and speechless. 

Time and again, Wallace Chan has defined and redefined the jewelry world, transforming the making of fine jewelry, and its appreciation – wearable sculptural art and beyond – into the most refined realm of art and philosophy to attain."