Experience the excitement of jewelry
27 April 2022
The nose ornaments in this exhibition are nothing short of sumptuous! Whether with pendants, crab-shaped, bimetal, rounded, hammered, these decorations either stand alone or form part of majestic ensembles. They’re sometimes so big that they mask almost the entire face! “These were important jewels in pre-Inca cultures. In 2006 , they discovered 42 of them in the tomb of the Lady of Cao*, sovereign of the Moche civilization. But until now, they haven’t been the subject of any scientific study,” says Carole Fraresso, the exhibition’s curator. Dating back several millennia BC, these nose ornaments herald the ultra-contemporary fashion for face jewelry.
*Discover this tomb during the trip to Peru organized with Carole Fraresso and TFJP, next October.
13 April 2022
Seeing jewelry in museums seems natural enough, but that wasn’t the case for the longest time! Until the end of the 19th century, such institutions were dedicated to painting, sculpture or even goldsmithing. No museums, galleries or even showcases were specifically dedicated to jewelry. The Victoria & Albert Museum (London) was the first to buy a jewel in 1851, during the world fair in London known as the Great Exhibition. Meanwhile, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris received its first jewel in 1878: a necklace donated by the jeweler Émile-Désiré Philippe. Jewelry was at last seen as heritage – better late than never!
13 February 2022
The Comité Colbert is sounding the alarm: certain typically French skills are in danger of disappearing in the next 10 years! The luxury industry has 80 such sectors and each year 10,000 jobs are left vacant for lack of candidates. Jewelry is very much concerned, which led Van Cleef & Arpels to organize “De Mains en Mains” in Lyon last December – a series of days in which to discover its trades: setters, polishers, jewelers, etc. Bénédicte Epinay, General Delegate/CEO of the Comité Colbert, offers several explanations: a generation born in the 1960s that will soon be retiring, people over 50 years of age who represent 36% of the workforce and people under 25 years of age who represent only 0.4%! Épinay also suggests two other reasons: the sector is in a blind spot torn between 3 ministries (Culture, Education and Industry), vocational training courses are not valued and their syllabi are out of date. To ensure the future of its know-how, the Colbert Comité is tackling the problem head on and is to convene a General Assembly of Artistic Métiers next fall.
16 December 2021
Cartier was not merely inspired by motifs from distant cultures: the jeweler’s new creations have also often incorporated elements from old jewelry or precious objects. So-called “apprêts” such as clasps, enamel plates, etc. Two pieces of jewelry not to be missed in the exhibition illustrate this approach perfectly. Firstly, this magnificent bracelet created around 1925, which was originally a shoulder ornament: it is composed of five Iranian chalcedony seals/amulets, engraved with a Koranic script dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Almost a century later, in 2017, this bracelet also features a a beautiful 18th-19th century Iranian nephrite jade amulet engraved with a surah from the Koran. Thanks to the designers and craftsmen, these Islamic elements have had several lives.
12 December 2021
It’s that time again, when the jewelers unveil their Christmas windows! I’ve photographed the most beautiful ones, from Cartier and Tiffany&Co. to Chanel and Christian Dior. Join me on a magical journey to the Place Vendôme and the Rue de la Paix.
26 November 2021
Together with Mathias Kiss, Ségolène Dangleterre has created three pieces of jewelry. Two square bronze rings, layered and shaped like a cornice. But a cornice with a difference: this one is deconstructed, broken with right angles, and extends over two fingers. It is reminiscent of Mathias Kiss’s “90 Degrees” installation at the Palais de Tokyo: like snakes, the cornices emerged from the ceiling, broke off, and extended to the floor. “We had to adapt to the constraints of miniaturization, so the cornice is devoid of any ornamentation, without acanthus leaves or scrolls. And there’s no stone,” says Ségolène Dangleterre. These “90 Degrees” artist pieces are numbered and produced in limited series, and bear Mathias Kiss’ name.
SHOP the rings
13 November 2021
What an excellent idea and yet so simple… The Italian jeweler Vhernier, expert in chain work (Italy excels in its manufacture of course), has designed a flat link with a tiny slit. This makes it possible to join together two, three, ten, even a hundred links! Vhernier sells as standard a bracelet with 12 links (from €1,000) or a necklace with 24, and then it’s up to each person to do what they want, depending on their tastes and budget. As the links are available individually in pink gold, titanium or pavé (diamonds, tsavorites or sapphires), you can add one to mark each new special occasion. A modern version of the traditional pearl necklace.
21 October 2021
Brands offering vermeil, gold-plating and gold-plated brass are flying high. This is due to their popularity with customers who are sensitive both to price (they’re less expensive than gold) and to all things ultra-creative. However, it’s important to be aware of the difference between the three. Used since ancient times, vermeil is silver covered with a layer of gold of at least 5 microns. It comes with a mandatory hallmark, a V (for vermeil) next to a diamond and an oval – hallmarks of the manufacturer and importer. Gold plating is brass coated with a layer of gold of between 3 and 5 microns or Pomponne, a copper and gold lining. It bears no particular hallmark, but some manufacturers include their logo along with the number of gold carats. Finally, gold-plated brass is an alloy, a mixture of copper and zinc, covered with a layer of gold of less than 1 micron. Of course, vermeil remains the most expensive of these metals because it is tied to the price of silver, but over time, thanks to silver’s adhesion, the gold is slower to disappear.
13 October 2021
There’s nothing like lacquer to satisfy that crazy desire for color and optimism! Opaque, smooth and shiny without sparkling like an amethyst or a sapphire, the material is omnipresent in collections. It seems that the pieces have been painted in bright and joyful, even fluorescent, colors – always treated in architectural, graphic blocks. Some collections are particularly noteworthy – Alice Cicolini, by Charlotte de la Rochefoucauld for Dauphin and that of Marc Deloche. On a split ring evoking a rolled leaf, de la Rochefoucauld juxtaposes rectangles of red and orange lacquer, punctuated by emerald or ruby. Deloche, who is also a jeweler and architect, creates a chromatic confrontation with opaque ornamental stones: striated malachite, turquoise, lapis lazuli, and coral. The contrast is particularly successful when the two end up blending into each other.
11 October 2021
I simply fell in love with Tabayer’s bracelet, with its pure form and powerful volume, paved with diamonds that seem almost strewn at random. I was also surprised by its extreme lightness – to the point of wondering if it was really gold at all. “It’s hollowed out, with walls of varying thicknesses depending on their location, the aim being to find the ideal weight, making it super-comfortable to wear. That would have been impossible with solid gold,” explains the young founder of Tabayer Nigora Tokhtabayeva. Other designers (like Lauren Rubinski) have adopted this “trick” associated with affordable jewelry brands like Histoire d’Or and Maty. What a great idea – and one that marks the shattering of yet another taboo: here too, borders are shifting and minds opening up. With the price of gold reaching new highs – between 35 and 50 euros per gram, and higher still for fairmined gold (as in this piece) – this approach is likely to be a trendsetter.
Experience the excitement of jewelry
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