March 2011 Archives
I don't like the briolette cut in general, and I REALLY don't like large stones when they're cut that way. Even considering that, these new pieces, the baisers précieux (precious kiss) collection, by the Parisian jeweler Amal are pretty unattractive. This is a sample, set with a cut phrenite, in yellow gold.
Keeping with the theme, however, leads to a stone that must be acknowledged as impressive, if nothing else. It's an 85ct pure white diamond, from the same mine as the Koh-I-Noor(106 Ct) in the British Crown Jewels. Chopard hasn't told us what they'll use it for, simply provided this...suggestive press photo
Delfina Delettrez (previously mentioned) is a young somewhat avant-garde jeweler working in Paris, and she's released some new pieces for 2011. I was not a fan of many of her recent works, but these are more interesting rather then just intentionally shocking, and I am liking them more. The display models for the first earrings and necklace betray her former style
|Collier necklace in gilded silver set with 2 large baroque pearls||"Roll-in-stone" earpiece in gold and pearl|
Maintaining her interest in non-standard subjects, though returning from the absurd (skeletonized Michael Jackson,for eg), is this beehive necklace, with amber set in a silver hive and small worker bees.
The earrings and matching bracelet use the rather simple construction of the gimbel to create an interesting articulated design, with a pair of large irregular pearls set in the earrings
|"Concentric Rings" earrings, set with large Tahitian pearls||Tourbillon (whirlwind) bracelet in silver|
Several months back a local jeweler hosted a display of French artisan jewelers. Since they forbade photography there, I was unable to provide anything in the way of images from the event, but I've been tracking down some secondary information on the brands on display. Here's the first, Marchak.
The original Marchak was founded in 1878 in Kiev by Joseph Marchak, and by the revolution had nearly 150 employees. Like many industries catering to the upper class, they left and by the mid 1920s has reopened on the Rue de la Paix in Paris. The brand grew and prospered through the mid 20th century, but faltered, and finally shut down in 1987 after the death of the Jacques Verger, the head designer.
In 2003 the dependents of Joseph, some still bearing the Marchak name, re-trademarked it and began working towards a reborn Marchak. A few years back they released a collection of animal-themed broaches, interesting but quite traditional in look. The following three butterfly's and octopus give a good sampling of their work. The use of unusually shaped stones for the butterfly wings is quite interesting, though somewhat common in Amber, like on the Isadora Ambre.
|Isadore: Materials unknown||Isadore Ambre: Chrysoprase and amber|
|Flamboyant: Diamonds, sapphires and tourmalines set in white gold||Octopus: Diamonds, sapphires, acquamarine and a large Baroque pearl set in white gold|
Nature, and animals in particular, play an important role in Marchak's collection, of the 7 pieces featured on their website at the moment, 5 are animals. The color gradient, as seen in the blue stones of the octopus, is a theme that they will continue using in their newer pieces.
From their newer pieces, some of which I've seen on display, there are a few worth noticing. Like many of the reborn watch companies, the new Marchak is trying to emphasize their connections to the historical company. One example of this is the Douze Mois (Twelve Months) collection, named after a play written by a cousin, Samuel Marchak, in 1960. This collection of twelve rings, in lacquer and diamonds set in gold,are the same, but for the hue of the lacquer, each one attempting to represent a specific month. The collection is presented in a box in a traditional Russian lacquer style, from the village of Palekh.
Drawing from the animal world again is a the Princess Grenouille (Princess Frog) in moonstone, spinel, chrysophrase, garnet, sapphire, emerald and diamonds (phew). This sort of lifelike small animal sculpture was very popular in late Czarist Russia, Faberge did a celebrated collection for Edward the VII.
The final piece is, I think, a fantastic use of an usual material for jewelry. This bear's head pin is in gold, diamonds sapphires and mink. It may not be the best example of craftsmanship in their collection, but was, at the exhibit, the most looked at and admired. A pity it retails for approx. 5,000€
Photographs of an old Russian fort that was used by the Soviet army to test a high-temperature napalm. The intense heat melted the bricks into a sort of glass, which then started to drip off the walls and ceiling.
More pictures available from the source: English Russia