Editor’s picks: TEFAF 2020 jewellery highlights
From Wartski’s green glass grapes to Van Cleef & Arpels’ ring in white coral, there’s a cleverly curated mix of heritage jewellers and art-influenced designers at this month’s TEFAF
Jewellery enthusiasts and collectors have long been hypnotised by TEFAF’s skillful haute joaillerie selection. Defined by exceptional design, these pieces intertwine contemporary detailing with antiqued techniques, drawing on a rich heritage of craftsmanship.
A La Vieille Russie
New York-based antiques dealer A La Vieille Russie are presenting a treasure trove of jewels at this year’s show, bringing delights such as a Van Cleef & Arpels white coral and gold ring, pictured top, and a striking René Boivin large cabochon and carved amethyst bracelet speckled with chrysoprase beads. Both dating from mid-century, they characterise the light-hearted aesthetic from the Fifties and Sixties when designers experimented with bold stones and more whimsical designs.
A specialisation in fine jewellery and Fabergé’s works of art have long given art and antiques dealer Wartski the edge. Their impeccable jewels have lost none of their sharp modernity, and this 19th century antique jewelled and gold vine brooch by Fonseque et Olive is a case in point. Georges Fonseque and Emile Olive specialised in these naturalistic brooches which originally came in miniature wooden wine cases and we love this piece, circa 1889, where ripe green glass grapes dangle from a rose diamond set vine leaf.
Contemporary German jewellery designer Otto Jakob’s training as a painter is evident in every aspect of his jewels, which are beautifully wearable pieces of art. Frequently inspired by nature, in the past he has enfolded lilies of the valley in gold and bestowed a griffon vulture with a plume of engraved agate feathers. These earrings play on similar magical motifs, casting the wings of a Malaysian katydid – more commonly known as a grasshopper – and embellishing them in shades of delicate enamel, adding colourful studs of green tsavorites and yellow and brown diamonds.
A commitment to antiquity and exceptional craftsmanship is inextricably tied up in Hemmerle’s identity, yet each of their totally unique creations reveals their modern influences. These earrings, featuring a Conch pearl and a Melo pearl in a cluster of sapphires and bronze, marry the traditional and the gently subversive in a lovely clash of designs.
Didier’s idiosyncratic collection of jewellery brings together pieces by a host of artists and designers, with Man Ray, Roy Lichtenstein and Pablo Picasso some of the notable names in an assortment rich in historical references. For this yeat’s TEFAF, Didier is focusing on jewels made in the Atomic and space age, when a desire to explore new territories possessed everyone from astronauts to jewellers. Salvador Dali’s Timeless lantern watch, circa 1975, twists the familiar motifs of the statue of Liberty and the Presidential seal’s American eagle as only he can, casting wry statements in gleaming gold. §