Jewellery round-up: a book on jeweller Temple St Clair
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Brought to book
Jeweller Temple St Clair might not be a household name, but a book published by Assouline in December 2016 will go some way to remedying that. Starting when department store Barneys New York launched its fine jewellery range with Ms St Clair’s first pieces in 1986, The Golden Menagerie explores her relationship with Florence’s ancient jewellers’ guild; her fantastical, animal-inspired jewels; and the exhibitions of her pieces she has staged in the past two years. The book features many of Ms St Clair’s vivid watercolour sketches and the artworks — pieces by Monet and Matisse among them — that have inspired her playful work.
As artists are pushed out, Tiffany & Co steps in
Tiffany & Co has announced a three-year partnership with the Outset Contemporary Art Fund to fund the Studiomakers Prize. The prize will make seven studios and a shared gallery in London available rent-free for a year to fine-art graduates from London’s art schools, and the winners will be chosen by judges including Tiffany’s design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, who studied at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins. The first winners will be announced in September. The broader Studiomakers scheme is a public-private partnership that aims to retain and develop creative workspaces; a 2014 study estimated 3,500 of them would be lost in London by 2019.
At a black-tie dinner at Tate Modern in December, Bulgari announced it had brought together its two charitable partners — Save the Children and the Elton John Aids Foundation — to work on a project in Kenya. In Turkana County, which has the sixth highest prevalence of HIV in the country (7.6 per cent of all people), the charities will try to reduce the number of new infections in 30,000 adolescent girls and young women and improve access to information and health services. Bulgari donated two B.zero1 bracelets and two watches to the EJAF, as part of its three-year partnership.
Let’s Twist again
Last Friday, Louis Vuitton added a Twist bracelet to one of its most established collections, Idylle Blossom. The range plays on the four-petalled Monogram flower motifs created by Georges-Louis Vuitton in 1896, which the house repeats across its handbag and luggage ranges. The new bracelet’s flexible design can be wrapped around the wrist without a clasp and is intended to be stacked in white, pink or yellow gold. One end is topped with a golden blossom, the other with a closed set diamond.
For those who have wondered about the value of their favourite 20th-century jewels, Bonhams launches a campaign called Makers and Eras. Last year ArtMarketResearch.com found that, over the past decade, the value of Art Deco and Belle Époque jewellery has risen by 88 per cent, antique jewellery by 68 per cent and postwar jewellery by 70 per cent — all reflected in prices being achieved at auction. Free valuations — with a view to consigning — will be held weekly in January and February at Bonhams on Bond Street, in Knightsbridge and at offices across the UK.
Four years in the making, Boghossian’s new Les Merveilles collection uses as little metal as possible in each piece by employing the same engineering principles as in an arch: the gems are held in place with a keystone. For its Creole earrings, only a thin line of gold is used, giving the illusion of diamonds interlocking without a metal setting. The highlight is a diamond-covered white gold ring, topped by a 8.61ct fancy purplish-pink pear-shaped diamond.
Specialist auctioneers Fellows will offer vintage jewellery and accessories on January 30 at its Birmingham saleroom. The auction will include a Georgian wax string ring; an Austro-Hungarian necklace set with beryl and pearl; a carved green jade pendant with diamond-set metalwork; and an Art Nouveau necklace with horn used to create the delicate wings of a dragonfly. “Unusual vintage and antique pieces don’t always have to be set with diamonds to be interesting, as the Austro-Hungarian and Art Nouveau necklaces show,” says managing director Stephen Whittaker.
Later this month Chopard will unveil the Garden of Kalahari: a jewellery set of six pieces made from a single 342ct rough diamond, the Queen of Kalahari. The stone was unearthed in Botswana last year. Chopard’s atelier has spent thousands of hours in extracting 23 diamonds for the nature-inspired set, which includes a sunflower with a 50ct brilliant-cut stone, a pansy with a 26ct heart and a 25ct pear in a banana blossom. The Swiss jeweller encouraged the Karowe mine to join its Green Carpet Challenge sustainability initiative, and the mine is now working towards gaining its Responsible Jewellery Council certification, which supports positive business practices in the jewellery supply chain.