Collectors’ corner: Mads Kornerup

When Wallpaper* visited Mads Kornerup in Copenhagen, the co-founder of fine-jewellery house Shamballa Jewels welcomed us with a leisurely meet-and-greet tour of his home city. He also gave us a personal tour of his studio at the Shamballa HQ. From huge brass Nepalese humming bowls to incense threads and crumpled metal artefacts, Kornerup, an avid globetrotter, is also a natural hoarder of weird and wonderful things. Here, he narrows down his collection to five favourite objects he cites as perennial sources of inspiration. Here’s why:

Mads Kornerup in his studio

(Image credit: Aylin Bayhan)

Founded by brothers Mads and Mikkel Kornerup in Copenhagen, in 2005, Shamballa Jewels combines precious materials, ancient techniques and a spiritual philosophy. 

Mads Kornerup in his studio at the Shamballa HQ. Photography: Aylin Bayhan

Shamballa collected beaded object

(Image credit: Press)

‘I bought this in a spiritual-bookstore years ago – I don’t remember where exactly. The colours caught my eye as they represent the inner chakra – or energy-system that connects the spiritual body with the physical one, often used in mediation practices. To be able to carry around your own little chakra-reminder is my favourite thing about it. I also like the shape of the beads. I am fascinated by yoga and meditation and have practised both for years. At Shamballa Jewels, we fuse the Far East with the North, and use symbols and icons from Eastern philosophies in our designs. They remind us of the important values in life.’ – Mads Kornerup

Shamballa collected bangle

(Image credit: Press)

‘This bangle has real sentimental value, as it’s a big part of my own story. Back in the day, I collected silver jewellery, and ended up having a pretty big, beautiful, selection of silver bangles and cuffs. This was one of them – I found it in India more than 20 years ago. The design is very tribal and graphic – almost futuristic, even though it might be hundreds of years old.’– MK

Shamballa collected ruler

(Image credit: Press)

‘I discovered this fellow in a little cool country antique shop when I was travelling through Newport Pagnell, just North of London, over two years ago. The brass details drew me to it in the first place, but the mechanical hinge is my favourite detail; functionality aside, this wooden rule gives one piece many different forms and shapes. As with many things in life, it isn’t necessarily what you think it is at first sight. It captures my curiosity and makes me want to look at it over and over again.’ – MK

Shamballa collected semi-precious stones

(Image credit: Press)

‘I picked up these tiny cubed semi-precious beads on my travels ages ago. I keep them on my table as little reminder to take care of my inner self. The colours and shapes allow you to actually touch and feel the chakra system. If our energy system cannot flow freely, whether because of stress, emotional or physical problems, it affects our physical body negatively.’ – MK

Shamballa choker

(Image credit: Press)

‘My brother and I have been gathering and collecting raw diamonds for more than a decade. This choker, from our Shamballa Jewels Atelier Collection – a suite of precious one-of-a-kind pieces – is crafted using non-treated 10-carat white diamonds, uncut and unpolished, just as they were when they came out of the earth. We call these stones “cosmic rocks”, as they conjure up the idea of diamonds that might have been mined from extraterrestrial grounds. Diamonds put us all under a spell, and we cannot explain why humans are so drawn to them. The rocky surface, texture and milky translucence gives these diamonds an untamed, almost mystical quality. The extraordinary individuality of these pieces represents the understated feel and true spirit at the heart of what we do.’ – MK

Caragh McKay is a contributing editor at Wallpaper* and was watches & jewellery director at the magazine between 2011 and 2019. Caragh’s current remit is cross-cultural and her recent stories include the curious tale of how Muhammad Ali met his poetic match in Robert Burns and how a Martin Scorsese Martin film revived a forgotten Osage art.