Saturday, 30 November 2013

CHANTECLER and his holiday jewels

Chantecler was founded in 1947 on the beautiful island of Capri by Pietro Capuano and Salvatore Aprea. Capri i the 1950s was a magnet for the international jet set and glamorous personalities such as Jacqueline Onassis, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo. All of them were frequent visitors who soon became collectors of the colourful and exuberant jewels created by Chantecler's charismatic founders. Today, Chantecler is a prestigious brand run by the Aprea family, still designing jewels that embody the "pure spirit of Capri".
Chantecler diamond and sapphire earrings
The pair of earrings above represents it to perfection, a cascade of marquise cut diamonds and sapphires, set in a symmetrical design, one in diamonds with a sapphire cluster, the other one with sapphires in a diamond pave setting. Elegant yet daring, a bit of a rebel act in a holiday mood… They will be auctioned by Bonhams in London on Dec 5th. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

An adorable pearl and diamond brooch by Buccellati

Not all the fine jewels have a multimillion price tag. After a week of so many record prices and huge diamonds I found this brooch was exactly what I needed: beautifully crafted by Buccellati, it is set with pearls and small diamonds in blackened gold. It is a cute and tasteful piece that will be auctioned by Christie's Hong Kong in the upcoming Magnificent jewels sale, yet this lot comes with no reserve at an estimate below $2,000!. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

One to watch! JAR Chalcedony and kunzite ring

Tomorrow's Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction will be one of the most important events of the year for many many reasons. The pink star amongst them. However, there will also be other "minor" treasures that are worthwhile to watch, in the unlikely event that they go unnoticed to main the collectors and dealers.

The ring below, signed by JAR, is one of them. Made out of Chalcedony and set with a circular kunzite and diamonds, is almost elfish!
JAR, 1983 Chalcedony, kunzite and diamond ring

Monday, 11 November 2013

One of the most beautiful brooches I have ever seen....

For once, I have no words..., this may not be the most important piece of jewellery ever made, nor a royal crown piece, it is however simply stunning! Good luck Christie's bidders...
XIX Century natural pearl brooch set in gold and silver with a double cluster of rose cut diamonds

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Art Deco Jabot pins, amongst most versatile pieces of jewellery

Cartier, Art Deco Onix and diamond jabot pin
Art Deco Onix and Diamond Jabot pins

The brooch above was made by Cartier in the 1920's and it is set in a typical combination of black onix and diamonds on platinum. The design is very unusual with the top end featuring a long fringe or tassel with cascading large rose cut diamonds. It is part of the upcoming Hong Kong Christie's auction on November 26th.
At the risk of turning it into a bit of an obsession, I find Art Deco monocrome combination fascinating!.

Art Deco Onix and diamond Jabot Pin at Macklowe Gallery, NY

Jabot pins are a particular type of brooch. Their main characteristic is that they are usually made out of one large pin which has adornments on both ends, the lower one normally being detachable so that it can be fastened. This way, when the brooch is worn on a garment, the pin is invisible leaving the two ornaments as if floating. Jabot pins get their name from a ruffle used by men and women to decorate shirts on the front and dates back to the seventeenth century. The pins became a piece of jewellery in the Art Deco period, since their elongated geometric shape (and symmetry in many occasions) suited the style to perfection. They were worn as brooches in multiple ways and even on hats and handbags. The variety of Art Deco designs for this type of brooches in inmense, and they are undoubtedly one of the most versatile pieces of jewellery.

Rarely worn today, these pieces are a collection's theme on their own. Like necessaire cases and minaudieres, each surviving original piece is unique and worth to be treasured.

Art Deco Jabot pin set with opals, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds

Friday, 8 November 2013

DISCOVERIES: ANNA HU; Symphony of Jewels, op.1

Anna Hu Iris Ring

Anna Hu was born in Tainan, Taiwan in 1977. From the age of 4, Anna trained as a classical musician. In 1991, she moved to America to study cello at the Walnut Hill Arts School in Boston, and in 1993 she was selected by her faculty to perform with Yo Yo Ma . She went on to study at the Parsons School of Design summer program in Paris and graduated with a Bachelors degree in cello from the New England Conservatory.

Anna Hu Detail

In 1998, the 20 year old cellist learned her promising career needed to change due to injuries associated with tendonitis. Anna Hu set out on a new creative path. From the rigors of classical music, Anna turned to gemology, completing a degree as Graduate Gemologist in just one season at the Gemological Institute of America. 

Anna Hu Phoenix Jade Ring

She went on to Parsons School of Design, graduating with a Masters degree in 19th century French Jewelry in 2000 while simultaneously studying jewelry design at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. She earned a Masters degree in Arts Administration from Colombia University in 2001, interned at Christie's jewelry department in 2002 and went on to study the unique qualities of precious stones and the exquisite craftsmanship of French jewelry-making while working in purchasing and merchandising for nearly a decade in the ateliers of Van Cleef and Arpels and Harry Winston .

Anna Hu Water Lilies

Anna Hu Iris Cuffs

At 30 years of age in 2008, Anna founded her namesake brand, Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie, and opened her first flagship boutique in New York's Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue, the epicenter of the world's finest jewelry brands. Anna Hu is the only Asian American jewelry designer to work exclusively with French-trained artisans in their New York and Parisworkshops. Each Anna Hu design is unique. Her work combines eastern and western influences, often inspired by classical music and nature. She has paid homage to fine artists drawing reference from Impressionism and Art Deco.

Anna Hu was recognized for technical innovation in design and honored with the China Institute's "Artistic Vision" award in 2011. Her jewelry has been worn by style-influencers the likes of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow . In September of 2012, The Vendome Press and Thames and Hudson have published "Symphony of Jewels, op. 1" a limited edition monograph printed in VeronaItaly, featuring the first 100 pieces from Anna Hu 's couture collection.

SOURCE Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

CARTIER 1920's Rock Crystal Vanity Case

Cartier, 1920's vanity case

This is a great collector piece, a vanity case made by Cartier in the 1920's. It is exceptional for its beauty but also for its rarity and original design. A black enamel box adorned with a reverse intaglio carved crystal, set with rose cut diamonds and suspended of a rock crystal ring with a black silk fringe adornment. It cannot get more Art Deco than this. The box opens to reveal a mirror and two powder compartments.

I became fascinated with vanity cases this past summer after I visited the Goldsmith's Hall exhibition in London. These boxes represent the ultimate luxury and adornment to me, bejewelled and exquisitely made., they are exquisite and the highest representation of refinement and sophistication, for who would think of having make up custom made nowadays?...let alone fit it is a precious stone golden box...
 The lot is part of Sotheby's magnificent jewels auction in Geneva on November 13th

Monday, 4 November 2013

An Art Nouveau Rene LALIQUE bash at the next auction by Christie's King Street in London

Rene Lalique Art Nouveau corsage ornament

Normally one piece made by Rene Lalique in the purest Art Nouveau style would already be the highlight of any auction. This month we have six of them, all of them offered at the same time by Christie's in London. I cannot think of a better opportunity to start an Art Nouveau collection!.
Rene Lalique Gold and enamel Art Nouveau buckle

Glass and Opal Art Nouveau pendant by Rene Lalique

Gold and horn leaf brooch by Rene 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.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A rare Spanish Art Deco Sautoir by LUIS SANZ

It is not very often that one comes across a very important piece of jewellery that has been made in Spain during the past century. One could argue that with a civil war between the two World Wars and decades of international embargo, the country was not economically buoyant. But the few pieces that do come out in the London or Geneva auctions are truly splendid.  The sautoir below features three magnificent sapphires and it was made in the 1920's by Luis Sanz. Luis was one of the two sons of Sanz Joyeros, a jewellery dealer in Madrid at the beginning of the Twentieth Century; in 1918, the two brothers went separate ways, Juan kept the dealing business and Luis opened a high end establishment. He soon became purveyor to the Crown and made a famous short necklace for Queen Victoria Eugenia with seven of the Colombian emeralds that belonged to Eugenia de Montijo.

Luis Sanz Art Deco Sautoir, Christie's

The piece will be auctioned by Christie's London on November 13th.