Style

15 May 2019

Fauna jewelry in the Christie’s sale in Paris

The Christie’s Paris sale, next June, is full of jewelry animals: elephants, cats, lions, owls and ladybugs. I am delighted to have dedicated the following article in the catalogue to them.

 

“The bestiary is one of the major themes of jewellery. All through the ages, processions of flying, swimming, running or rampant animals have inspired jewellery designers. Fur or feather. Domesticated or wild. Stylised as in a children’s book or truer than life, lifted from entomological plates. Painters and sculptors have their equivalent in the world of jewellery: Fabergé, René Lalique, Cartier, etc. The beauty of snakes, butterflies, owls, fishes, humming birds is a powerful source of inspiration for animal jewellers. They are easy to slip on a finger, ready to fly off as a brooch…

 

Christie’s sale presents a joyful and friendly ark. Impertinent and rebel. An enchanted kingdom inhabited by animals devoid to animality. Nothing sweeter than these small hard stone animal sculptures. On the Cartier set, the elephants are large, heavy, but still look adorable. The Van Cleef and Arpels lion only needs speech, with its sweet face and tousled mane. Boucheron’s red and black enamel Ladybirds look like cuddly toys. All these quirky animals are made to charm, as a matter of fact they could all be turned into tinkling charms!

 

Behind the seeming naivety and simplicity of the design, the animal jeweller deploys treasures of dexterity.  A cabochon for the head, an engraved citrine for the wing, chiselled gold for the body… Between his fingers, precious stones become fur and feathers. The duck displays a precious onyx and lapis lazuli costume. The cockerel stands proudly on its spurs, showing off its flamboyant sapphire, emerald and diamond feathers. Vhernier’s sea tortoise swims through turquoise water: in reality, its carapace is made of superposed crystal, mother-of-pearl and rock crystal. As for Sylvie Corbelin, she captures the butterfly’s ephemeral beauty: real varnished wings found in an entomology collection of the 1950s, arranged around an amethyst.

Wonderful correspondances between mineral and animal. Nature more beautiful than nature.”

 

Christie’s 9, avenue Matignon, Paris 8e – Viewing 8-12 June 2019, sale 13 June 2019

 

Articles related to this subject:

Vhernier: Carlo Traglio and his aesthete’s jewelry

“Lucky animals” by Van Cleef & Arpels 

 

Most popular articles

Has humor deserted the jewelry world?

The very timely exhibition, “Comic break: humor in the jewelry world” by Van Cleef & Arpels, highlights a completely marginal subject in today’s jewelry:...

Jewelry that makes fun of jewelry

Avant-garde designers are turning to humor and irony to subvert the conventions of classic jewelry. Their favorite targets: the preciousness of materials.

Alina Alamorean, tormented jewelry

Part of Alina’s work, composed of pieces in movement and curves, is of a very strong sensuality. The other side of her work is darker, her jewelry sometimes...

Karuna Balloo, textile horticulturist

The idea of a fabric flower comes from her native Mauritius – an island where African, Chinese, European and Indian influences intermingle…

Isabelle Stanislas at The School of Jewelry Arts

After a brief introduction by art historian Cécile Lugand, master lacquerer Franck Cengizalp invited the six participants to practice techniques associated...

Tiny sparks of grandeur

Marie Genon has transformed the Grand Palais into a series of jewels. From the majestic to the minuscule, this young woman delivers an extraordinary first...