The Handmade Issue
With a limited edition cover by Aldo Bakker
As it only comes round once every two years, we wanted to celebrate high jewellery's contribution to the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris beyond our Working Magic shoot in our October issue (W*163 - out now). So we thought we'd give you a rare insider peek into the beautifully crafted books and presentation folders that the world's top jewellery maisons create to accompany their collections. Pictured, the Van Cleef & Arpels box set
Writer: Caragh McKay
Van Cleef & Arpels
The Palais de la Chance collection reveals Van Cleef & Arpels at its most magical and their corresponding box set of two books mirrors the beautifully conceived collection. The title is foil-blocked across a bespoke hatch drawer box, which contains two books, released by pulling a gold satin ribbon. The main book relays the story of the collection, subtitled 'Your Lucky Star', via a series of textured opaque tissue and weighty paper pages, intersected with die-cut folded foil 'lucky' motifs, such as stars and unicorns. Some, folded onto the edges pages, act as a gate-fold pull. Replicas of the original gouaches of the jewel designs are also featured. The second book, 'Luck Lines', is a retelling of magic tales by Arnaud Rykner and Frank Secka.
The Dear Dior collection by Victoire de Castellane, designer of the house's fine jewellery collections, is relayed via a concise woven-cloth portfolio with a black satin ribbon tie. The title lettering is de-bossed in gold. Inside, a saddle-stitched pamphlet reveals replicas of signed gouaches, including one of the earrings featured in this month's issue. The alternating of paper tones between black and 'Dior grey' adds an elegant branded touch.
One of the most extensive collections of the Biennale, the Boucheron collection needs a sizeable box to house its series of seven loose-leaf pamphlets of gouaches, including the painted design of the Mosaic 'Delilah' necklace featured in this month's W*163 October issue. Each page is seal-embossed with the Boucheron stamp. The title and band name is de-bossed in pink-gold on the padded front panel. Inside, the box is lined in a sheeny, pearlescent paper, with a satin ribbon pull to release the pages. The Boucheron 'B 1858' logo is de-bossed on the rear of the box.
A star necklace from Chanel's exquisite 1932 Bijoux des Diamants collection is relief-embossed on the cover of this hardback book, while a tiny silver-foil version is relief-embossed on the spine. Inside, a tidy little replica of the original collection pamphlet is stitched in to the opening pages. The final page of this mini catalogue, which has a de-bossed title on the cover, includes a little pocket bearing a copy of a note from Chanel describing the collection and why she decided to work in diamonds, rather than costume jewellery, for this collection. Inside, the book features a series of original marketing posters and newspaper reports, alongside photographs of the updated collection, including pieces featured in this month's Working Magic story.
This, the most sizeable of all the Biennale high jewellery boxes, features a relief-embossed Chaumet logo and carefully bevelled edges, using the brand's subtle mink and white colour scheme. The enclosed gouaches of the 12 pieces from Chaumet's Biennale collection are alternately printed on grey and white paper. Each section is wrapped in a folder of weighty tracing paper, all the better to view the collections within. A gouache of the necklace highlighted in this issue's Working Magic story can be seen through the paper. Pages are seal-stamped with the Chaumet logo, while the drawings are further heightened by embossed frames.
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