Jewelry is everywhere even where you least expect it! Don’t miss the key exhibitions of the new fall season.
13 to 17 September 2019: the pearls of Bahrein at the Biennale
Bahrein is the guest at the Biennale de Paris. Alongside contemporary art pieces, Pascale Le Thorel, the pavilion’s curator, presents the pearls intrinsic to the history of this small state in the Arabian Gulf. Before the discovery of oil, the entire economy depended on these nacreous spheres gathered from oysters. During the 1920s they were considered particularly beautiful and were bought by major jewelers like Cartier. Today, pearls just as magnificent as the ones shown here are still being harvested.
11 to 17 September 2019, “A Vanity Affair” at Christie’s
Christie’s is presenting various signed boxes (cigarette and vanity cases) brought together by a couple. It all started with a case into which the husband had slipped a handwritten love letter… Beyond the personal story behind it, this collection narrates the history of styles, the variety of materials and the wealth of decoration executed by French workshops.
10 September to 26 October, “Mirabilia” at The Mazlo Gallery
The gallery dedicated to avant-garde has chosen the themes of the encyclopedic collection and the cabinet of curiosities. The accent is on the strangeness created by hybridization: a register in which the designers, highly detached from the purely decorative aspect, excel. Marie Masson creates jewelry with physical attributes like skin, body and head hair, feathers and horse manes, while Gisbert Stach cast an ironic eye on the value of jewelry with toasting forks and more.
26 September 2019 to 12 January 2020, “Moderne Maharajah – Un mécène des années 30” at the Musée des Arts décoratifs
Jewelry is not the main focus of this exhibition devoted to the modernist Manik Bagh palace and the man who commissioned it, the Maharajah of Indore. To emphasize his avant-gardist tastes, the curators have added the preparatory drawings of jewelry by Chaumet, Mauboussin and Van Cleef & Arpels. The maharajah often had his traditional jewelry transformed into Art Deco pieces. Chaumet in 1913 then Mauboussin in the early 1930s had the privilege of creating a necklace featuring the two magnificent pear-cut Golconda diamonds inherited from his father.
Until 5 April 2020, “Jewelry for America” at the Met
This exhibition based on the collections of the Met looks back over the history of American jewelry. Divided into five chronological sections, it presents some fine pieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany, America’s iconic jeweler.
Until 4 November 2019, “L’art du porte-monnaie” at La Monnaie de Paris
This is the first exhibition ever devoted to a little everyday object: the coin purse. Everyday but by no means ordinary, as we see from the collection of Henri Joannis-Deberne, the advertising executive, poet and wordsmith. From 1830 to 1930, the purse’s development reflected social codes, fashion and the dexterity of craftsmen, including jewelers. Both useful and exquisite.
10 October 2019 to 26 January 2020, “Les canons de l’élégance” at the Musée des Armées
“The better you feel you look, the better you fight,” said General François du Barail (1820-1902). Officers always had a taste for finery because it shored up their identity, designating their rank and even their degree of authority. The most remarkable objects here include Louis XVI’s sword in diamonds, the helmet of one of the King’s bodyguards during the French Restoration, and a late 18th century Mamluk harness.
10 October 2019 to 1 March 2020, “A newly ordered world – Treasures from the Napoleonic era” at the Pforzheim Jewelry Museum
The exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of Napoleon I’s birth and his influence on the success of French jewelry. He swelled the collection of Crown Jewels and encouraged luxury, particularly jewelry, which he gave to his entourage and above all his wives. The Empress Josephine was wild about it, and proved an excellent ambassadress, setting the fashion for jewelry sets, tiaras and cameos.