December 2009 Archives

Introducing Leon Hatot

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in 1999 the SWATCH Group bought the small Parisian jewelry label Leon Hatot, but it was about the same time they bought Breguet so nobody really cared.  It was founded in the first decade of the 20th century, and became popular enough between the wars that the eponymous jeweler was awarded the Legion d'Honnour in his native France.  Post WWII fashions changed and the brand dwindled until Leon's death in 1953.

Swatch acquired not only the rights to the brand in 1999, but also a bank vault of sketches, which they claim underlay all their current designs.  The following are a sampling from the windows of their boutique in Paris, in the Place Vendôme.

Starting with some rather plain, but nicely done articulated diamond earrings
Dangling Diamonds.jpg

The next two pieces are from the Vertige collection, first a pendent in diamonds set in white gold on a satin cord
Vertige Pendent.jpg
Next an interesting, if entirely overdone, watch.  The spiral to the 11 o'clock position is a cover that can pivot to cover the dial entirely
Vertige Watch.jpg
Like all of their watches this is powered by a quartz movement and set via a recessed push-button in the caseback, apparently function takes a back-seat to form

In the same family of hidden watches is this piece from the Trapeze  collection
Trapeze Watch.jpg

Finally a multi-level collar with what I'd call a shooting star motif.  There was no reference to the design on their website that I could find, so the official name is unknown. 
Shooting Star Collar.jpg
On the one hand I quite like the elements and especially the use of unusually-shaped diamonds in the radiating zig-zags, but on the other hand I can see it looking somewhat trashy without careful attire.

All pictures are mine.

Samurai Vodka

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A much less offensive, and quite clever, design for a Vodka bottle, this time a concept fo Samurai Vodka by Arthur Schreiber.

Hand Wrought Maps

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Hand wrought maps by Piers Gustafson, a fantastic map-maker, designer of logos and quite a talented, if somewhat unusual, calligrapher to boot .



Flowchart as Humor/Epitaph

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This was published in the New York Times shortly after the death of Gary Gygax, an earlier example of what has become a somewhat common genre of humor.



Dior Flower Rings

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From their windows in Place Vendome, Christian Dior Joaillerie shows rings decorated with flowers.  I must apologize for the photos, there were some technical problems, including a new camera I wasn't quite familiar with yet.

Rosebud in white gold and diamonds
rosebud Ring.jpg
Open flower in black and white diamonds, some of the white ones are quite impressive stones
Bloom Ring.jpg
A smaller ring from the Doirette collection, constructed of several smaller flowers
Diorette Ring.jpg


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From a recent trip to Paris, photos of churches, including St. Chapelle, Notre Dame de Paris and an exterior shot of L'église du Val-de-Grâce
First, St. Chapelle, a tiny little church that is now inside the Palais de Justice.  It is known for the stained glass windows, which are currently partially covered as they undergo cleaning and stabilization.
Martyr Windows.jpg

Next is Notre Dame de Paris, the  obvious one.
Windows through windows.jpg
Finally an exterior shot of the dome of Val de Grâce, which is no longer used as a church so not open to the public.
Dome of L'église du Val-de-Grâce.jpg
All photos are mine and are available, along with many more elsewhere.

Maison de l'Outil

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During a recent trip to Paris I took a side-trip to the town of Troyes, in Champagne.  One of the things to visit there is the Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière, that is the museum of tools and works.  I've finally posted the pictures I took inside the museum, and will give just a sample here.

Nailmaker's machine.jpg
A specialized nail-making tool
An amusing, smiling anvil
An unknown tool, probably related to caring for horses

Finally a view of one of the galleries

there are plenty more pictures, including a duck-clever, a pair of hand-shaped screwdrivers and a foot-caliper


I have absolutely NO IDEA what to make of this: Kabbalah Vodka


Dropcap Title Image

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Assembled of letters from Daily Drop Cap

La Tradition by Candlelight.jpg

From the recent holiday, in chronological order
Candle-lit PanoMatic.jpg

"Members of the earth's earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth."
Clearly there's more


Hanukkah Music Video Night

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'cause there's never too much Jewish heavy-metal

Erran Baron-Cohen's Dreidel, complete with rapping in Yiddish!


Audi's "Unbox The Box"

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Passion Pictures and 1st Ave Machine put together this deciptivly simple animated ad for the Audi Q5.

More Cartier Kitties

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The theme extends past the ad campaign to
Art Deco inspired earrings

A sapphire-based necklace

and it's matching bracelet
A broach centered on a large star Sapphire
and a ring based on a large(approx. 20ct) faceted purple Sapphire
All images from Cartier via.

Pasquale Bruni

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I've begun the sorting of pictures from a recent trip to Paris and am starting on the jewelry ones.  Here are some pieces from the window of Pasquale Bruni, on the way into Place Vendome proper.  Her pieces seem to focus less on small details that overall shape, frequently using pave set stones to create a shimmering surface.  There is also the use of almost tessalated forms, though slightly less regular than that would imply, but significant repetition of small forms.

First is a Star and a Moon pendent, both in 18kt gold.  The Moon is pave in diamond with a single set sapphire, the stars are pave in a mix of diamonds and rubies
Stars and Moon.jpg

Above the Moon was a pendent named 'snowflake' also in diamonds and 18kt gold

Finally we have a pair of overlapping rings from the Prato Fiorito (flowery meadow) collection.  These are decorated with a profusion of small gold elements, each set with a small diamond set upon a lattice of gold.  The edge has a series of the same flowers dangling, free to wiggle with the wearers movement.  A pendent from the same collection can be seen at the bottom of the frame, alas out of focus.
Prato Fiorito.jpg
All images are mine, 11-2009

A Most Unusual Setting

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One of the most unusual settings I've seen recently, with the pavilion of the outer stones providing a backdrop for the main, inner stone.  The piece, named Coupelle Piége (cup trap, or the like), is from the Architecte collection by Lorenz Baümer (featured before) and consists of a tourmaline (central stone), fire opals and Citrines (the stones in the side, and small diamonds set in 18kt rose gold.  There is red Spinel somewhere in the piece, according to his website, but I'm not sure where.

NB: His website uses some heavy flash and is not safe for those who sudder from vertigo
Apparently discussing the finer points of throwing a change-up.

Daphna Simon and Animals

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Jeweler Daphna Simon, known for her animal designs, has created a new line to support Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation charity.  These new pieces all incorporate a bear paw print motif, which I find less appealing than her previous animals, sampled below

"Somewhere a Kindle is ashamed"

Created for the New Zealand Book Council, via

More California Dreaming

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More of Van Cleef and Arpels' California Rêverie collection (previewed before).
Palm Tree Earrings

Paysage d'Opale pin

Big Sur Earrings
Flamingo pin
And some rings from the collection

World Aids Day Ad!

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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