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

This is gold and white collection.
(Image credit: press)

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

Vieille Russie bracelet.

(Image credit: 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.


Wartski grapes jewellery.

(Image credit: Wartski)

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.

Otto Jakob

Otto jakob earrings.

(Image credit: Otto Jakob)

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.


Hemmerle earrings.

(Image credit: Hemmerle)

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.


Salvador Dali watch.

(Image credit: Didier)

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


TEFAF Maastricht, 7 – 15 March 2020


MECC Maastricht
Forum 100
6229 GV Maastricht
The Netherlands


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.