Our US-based correspondent SMITHA SADANANDAN went gawking at the gorgeous jewels at PAD London, a leading fair that showcases masterpieces across design, art, antiquities, tribal art and collectible jewellery.
Valery Demure, French-born tastemaker, who launched her eponymous agency in London in 2005, debuted a very personal labour of love – ‘Objet d’Emotion – at Pad London last year. “Through our frequent client meetings and private events, we want to shape a community celebrating the beauty, master craftsmanship and timelessness that epitomise true, long-lasting design. A slower, more considered approach, where creativity can be relished and pieces learned about in a genuinely passionate and immersive way,” explains Valery Demure, director, Objet d’Emotion. She handpicked jewellery designers, who celebrated strong aesthetics and had an inimitable signature.
Alice Cicolini, Bibi van der Velden, Cora Sheibani, Delfina Delettrez, Francesca Villa, Ioanna Souflia, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Monique Pean, Nadia Morgenthaler, Sharon Khazzam and Silvia Furmanovich provided a refreshing take on fine and high jewellery by continually pushing the boundaries of creativity.
British jeweller and former Christie’s expert Glenn Spiro, whose brand is now called ‘G’, is noted for his one-off pieces based on exceptional gems. Debuting at PAD London this time, he unveiled some stunning wearable works of art. Flamboyant coloured stones set in traditional precious metals and more innovative materials, including titanium and carbon, set the tone for Spiro’s extraordinary contemporary jewels. A divine cuff bangle in titanium and yellow gold with glass half-moon saw the jeweller entrap a delicate gold foil beneath the glass, alongside a hint of black onyx and a gentle sprinkle of round diamonds. Another stunner that sparkled with diamonds and a gentle dash of blue was a magnificent pair of Cascade diamond cuffs and matching earrings, made in titanium and set with old-cut cushion-shape and brilliant-cut diamonds.
A pair of earrings in titanium and 18-karat gold set with 28 old-cut cushion-shape diamonds weighing 33.51carats; 6 oldcut cushion-shape diamonds weighing 5.33 carats; 6 oldcut cushion-shape diamonds weighing 3.41 carats; and 542 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of 7.54 carats. Courtesy of G.
A pair of titanium floral earrings set with a cushion-shaped rose-cut diamond, a modified heart-shaped diamond, a modified trapezoid rose-cut diamond, a marquise rose-cut diamond, 72 purple diamond briolettes, 495 round spinels, and 48 round diamonds.
A ring in 18-karat red gold set with two cushion-shaped flat rubellites weighing 28.44 carats and 25.75 carats, and 753 round diamonds.
A titanium and 18-karat yellow gold bangle set with glass half-moon with fine gold, 346 diamonds weighing 3.60 carats.
Haute jeweller Lorenz Baumer presented his collection that sang out with an intricacy of craftsmanship. His eponymous jewellery brand is nothing less than a riot of colour. I fell for a trove of unexpected designs set in spinels, sapphires (in a myriad of hues), brown quartz, chocolate diamonds, aquamarines, green beryls and black lacquer. Shimmering wonders inspired by nature in a wide range of styles and sumptuous central stones – all bearing the hallmark of Baumer’s distinctive craft – were transformed into heart-achingly gorgeous creations.
The Black Magic Nebuleuse ring is composed with spessartite garnet, blue, pink and purple sapphires set in white gold with black rhodium.
The Black Magic Rayonnement bracelet is centred on a 20.30-carat aquamarine with purple and pink sapphire spokes radiating from the centre. The ring is mounted in white gold with black rhodium.
The Black Magic Fleur de Nuit ring in white gold with black rhodium is set with a 14.98-carat green tourmaline, is enhanced with pink sapphires, Paraiba tourmaline, Translucid lacquer and black lacquer.
The Black Magic Etincelles white gold earrings feature 21.82 carats of green beryl, black diamonds, orange and pink sapphires and Paraiba tourmalines.
New York’s antique jewellery powerhouse Siegelson showcased an iconic starfish designed by Juliette Moutard for Rene Boivin, especially made for Claudette Colbert (in 1937) when she was at the height of her fame as a Hollywood star. An Art Moderne silver and black lacquer bracelet by Jean Despres, Paris (1931), a turquoise and lapis lazuli gold cuff bracelet by Charles Loloma (Phoenix), and a pair of diamond Turband ear pendants by Siegelson were hugely captivating.
Karry Gallery had on display a pair of lovely butterfly earrings crafted in gold and silver, and set with diamonds. Designer Karry Berreby’s fascination with butterflies, a symbol of the soul, is evident in the motifs adapted for her long drop earrings. The gallery also had some vintage pieces, including a Piaget watch set in yellow gold and nephritis (circa 1970) and a yellow gold and diamond wrap bracelet (circa 1960).
Frederique Mattei, who has been passionate about beads from childhood, created her namesake line to narrate gemstudded tales from lands far away. Rare materials sourced from various parts of the world that reveal mysteries of different civilizations enable Frederique to create contemporary sculptural jewellery. Rock crystals from Afghanistan and Iran, gold pendants from India (end of the 19th century), black diamond pearl from Rajasthan, Burmese gold striated pearls, Indian gold pearls all find their way into Ma Tei ensembles.
Necklace, 2018, composed with rock crystal from Iran (18th century), gold pendant from India (end of the 19th century). Courtesy of Ma Tei.
Necklace strung with amethyst, pearls and gold, Burmese gold striated pearls, Indian gold pearls.
Necklace set with Rajasthan black diamond pearl, Burmese gold striated pearls, Indian gold pearl, two long silver-gilt pearls.
(All Ma Tei jewellery photos by Thomas Hennocque).
A look at the pieces by Hemmerle tells you its makers never get bored of experimenting: helming the fourth generation family-run jewellery business, Christian Hemmerle and his wife, Yasmin, have been pioneering various mechanisms at their Munichbased atelier. Through the pursuit of alternative, unconventional materials – aluminium, iron, steel and wood – and devising ingenious ways to set gemstones and other eye-catching elements, the brand composes harmonious designs in original and contemporary silhouettes. At PAD London, Hemmerle’s tryst with sumptuous texture played out beautifully through their iron bangle and earring collection with diamonds entrapped in a geometric mesh. Clever juxtaposition of materials and gems irrefutably gives their iconic designs that fine edge. Yet another exceptional jewel sprang to life in the form of a pair of earrings, featuring ‘Seven Gods of Fortune’ porcelain panels, while white gold, silver and diamonds added sparkle to the bejewelled composition.
What would you choose? A basketful of fruit imagined as a pair of earrings titled ‘Shop Till You Drop’ or a mosaic of gems in a ravishing palette of pastels chequered with emeralds, diamonds and tourmalines. No easy task, when you are presented with a tray filled with delightful designs by Suzanne Syz. Playful names and whimsical inspirations have always set her jewels apart. And as always, showstopping forms channelled Syz’s mesmerising and arty sensibilities imbued with bold colour combinations and contemporary audacity.
A little bit of magic-earrings in aluminium set with 12 pink tourmalines totalling 23.42 carats, 10 emeralds weighing 14.32 carats, and 28 diamonds weighing 0.90 carat.
Shop Till You Drop Earrings feature two tourmalines of 9.02 carats and diamonds.
Lebanese jewellery designer Walid Akkad for the first time showcased his works at PAD London. And what a fabulous debut it was. Paris-based Akkad’s designs reveal his “taste for original and rare stones, his infinite patience and the perfect mastery of his art”. For his geometric Polyèdre cufflinks, he decided to treat gold like a faceted stone with asymmetrical surfaces and play with the light, while his sculptural dream – Bubbles – is a result of his study on how to make maximum volume with minimum material. The designer uses brushed and polished effects to better define the surfaces and create an opposition between them – in short, a fine marriage between minimalism and visual drama.