Exquisite jewels showcased at Masterpiece London
LONDON, June 30, 2012 – The Masterpiece London art and luxury fair opened on June 28 showcasing outstanding contemporary and vintage
jewels, as well as furniture, sculptures, silverware and rare porcelain to throngs of the international super-rich seemingly immune to worries over a fragile global economy.
The glitterati moved along the stands at an exclusive preview event in Chelsea on June 27, sipping champagne as they admired jewels from some of the world’s most iconic brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Fred, as well as an array of luxury goods, including fine watches, paintings, and even classic cars.
“There is a tremendous amount of wealth which needs somewhere to go,” said Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece.
International dealers, boutiques and galleries offered top tier goods to suit all tastes.
Standouts at the event, which runs until July 4, included an aquamarine and ruby belt with buckle necklace, designed by Fulco, Duke of Verdura, for jeweller Paul Flato, New York, circa 1935, priced at $2.5 million.
Visitors admired a chess set featuring gilded birds created by luxury jeweller Theo Fennell for 95,000 pounds ($147,186).
Masterpiece unveiled a diamond jewellery exhibition called “Brilliant” to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee year.
UK brand Shaun Leane marked the exhibition with a new bespoke creation, The Serpent’s Trace.
Curated by Carol Woolton, jewellery editor of UK Vogue, and a leading international authority on jewellery, Brilliant offered an extraordinary selection of pieces.
Alongside Leane’s creation, other rare works included the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Dior and Chanel.
Leane’s unique neckpiece The Serpent’s Trace, a powerful composition of 18 carat white gold, diamonds and emerald, exudes luxury, elegance and mystery.
A fine line of diamonds glistens and flickers sensually around the neck of the wearer.
The tip of the serpent’s head clasps a spectacular 3.34 carat pear-shaped natural Zambian emerald by Gemfields.
British artists made an impact at Masterpiece.
The Gagosian Gallery unveiled a gold plated silver statue by celebrated UK artist Damien Hirst, called “Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain 2008.”
Visitors viewed a 1959 Salford Street scene by L.S. Lowry with a price tag of 495,000 pounds ($766,918) and works by Francis Bacon.
Other items included antique tables and clocks, and a risqué 18th Century German Meissen porcelain figure showing a young couple, priced at $320,000.
Visitors admired a 1952 Jaguar C-Type racing sports car once owned and raced by American driver Masten Gregory.
London’s high-end art and luxury market appears to be oblivious to the recession in Britain and the weak global economy, gripped by the
euro zone debt crisis and worries over Chinese growth.
Organisers reported brisk orders from the start at Masterpiece, and a number of orange stickers signifying sales quickly dotted the stands.
Sycomore Ancient Art’s large wooden statue of a high-ranking Egyptian official dating from 2570-2350 BC sold almost immediately, to a German museum for well over one million pounds ($1.54 million).