Sunday, 22 July 2012

CINDY CHAO: organic jewels and Gaudi inspiration

Taiwanese jewelry maker Cindy Chao gets well deserved recognition in America (Robb report) for her organic and naturalistic, one of a kind pieces. The bracelet above, belongs to her Masterpiece series of 8 and it is set with 11 sugarloaf emeralds and 2000 diamonds. She claims this particular piece was inspired by Spanish Arquitect Gaudi and it does remind me of the great modernist buildings scattered around Barcelona. Very clever design!

View Robb Report

The Beau Sancy | VIDEO by David Bennet

The Chairman of Sotheby's Europe and Middle East, Jewellery thorough explanation about this unique gemstone

CFJ Gallery: Diamond Earrings by JAR!!

Extremely unusual pair of diamond earrings set in yellow gold and oxidised aluminium by great jewellery master JAR!. As with many of his pieces, they show how amazing they are when worn, rather than in pictures. JAR is well known for his unique ability to design pieces that enhance the woman rather than the other way round. They can be found at London antique dealer Hancocks.

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

London's Masterpiece Fair by New York Social Diary

Ever since I started writing the blog, I decided I would only write about something when I had something good to say about it. I don't think anybody enjoys learning about other people's dislikes and taste is very personal after all. I was worried because I did not enjoy Masterpiece this year as much as last one, and particularly I was somehow disappointed by the "Brilliant" exhibition but I felt the fair was somehow missing from the blog. This is why I am so happy to have found this great review by the NY Social Diary which I am now posting!. I hope my tiny contribution will count and we will continue having great Masterpiece editions in London in the future.

The cuff above, was amongst the finest collector pieces presented at London Masterpiece this year by Fred Leighton, it is a gold bangle set with an impressive aquamarine and made by Rene Boivin.

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London's Luxe Masterpiece Fair | New York Social Diary

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

DASHI NAMDAKOV: Ancestral Inspiration

Hidden in the gorgeous jewellery room of Halcyon Gallery, on the first floor of a great Georgian building in Bond Street, London (right across Sotheby's for those who know me), one finds the most unusual collection of pieces: the jewels made by Dashi Namdakov for what has been a most successful London season. It started on April 14th when his oversized Genghis Khan sculpture was unveiled in Marble Arch, followed with his debut exhibition A Nomad's Universe and continues with a series of minor ones at other Halcyon locations.

A lot has been written about his sculptures and specially the Genghis Khan but the jewellery has been kept secret, secluded in a private room, closed to the general public and available for private views only.

Dashi Namdakov was born in 1967 in Russia, in the Chita region of Siberia, close to the Chinese border. This is today, the Republic of Buryatia, on the shores of lake Baikal, a land with a strong Mongolian heritage where Buddhist religion and Shamanic mythology are tied. Dashi, who was the son of an accomplished local sculptor, grew up in surrounded by all these influences; he had a Buddhist education but as a teenager was diagnosed a severe illness and he believes he was cured by a shaman who reconnected him to his ancestors. It was after this episode when he abandoned his plans of becoming a sportsman and started studying art and training as an artist. He has achieved almost everything in terms of recognition in Russia and China; the Hermitage exhibition in 2010 (Nostalgia for Roots) sealing this period.

As a truly accomplished artist, Dashi Namdakov works both on a monumental scale (like the Marble Arch piece) as well as on miniature. An old school artist, he draws first hundreds of sketches before setting to work on volume. This is driven by his obsession with detail; Dashi started researching for the Genghis Khan topic in 2007, as Art Director for an epic movie "Mongol: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan" when he designed not just the scenes and imaginary but every detail of weaponry and armours employed. He is also versatile in terms of the materials he can employ, he uses bronze, silver, gold, copper, wood, mammoth tusk, leather, horse hair and precious stones like pearls, rubies, sapphires, peridots and diamonds. One of the most impressive pieces at the Halcyon exhibition was a huge bull head carved in lapis lazuli with twisted horns made of gold!.

His main influence comes form the history of the Asian Nomadic empire, the mix between powerful warriors and imaginary creatures with ancient spirituality; yet his genius lies in his reinterpretation for the pieces have true modernity of form, regardless the subject matter. The Halcyon curators wrote about him that Dashi's "sculptures recall the intimacy and intricacy of heirloom jewellery"; although of very different aesthetics, his pieces reminded me of the masculinity of Sevan Bicakci's, for they are rough and quite aggressive sometimes, definitely warrior jewels or some kind of ancient shamanic symbols with secret meaning. After having spent quite a bit of time researching this artist, I still have the impression that there so much more to learn and so many other things that I would like to ask him; I am just glad he is now in London for a while!.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Paris Biennale des Antiquaires...2012 by Lagerfeld

It is almost countdown time for the greatest bi annual event in fine jewellery and this year the Grand Palais in Paris will be staged and designed by Karl Lagerfeld who has promised to bring us back to an impressive Belle Epoque scene to present the Haute Joillerie collections by Cartier, Boucheron, Bvlgari, Dior, Chanel, Chaumet, Harry Winston, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels; and for the first time ever, Wallace Chan!, one of our favourite discoveries. Alongside some of the best antique jewellery dealers from the continent!.

From September 14th to 23rd