Masterpiece London, a showcase for high jewellery and luxury and a magnet for collectors, returns after the lockdowns and consolidates its place as a top global art fair
By David Brough
Masterpiece London is a stylish showcase for high jewellery and other forms of luxury aimed at international collectors, and has earned its place over the last decade as a primary event of the London season.
Collectors and glitterati mingled over more than a week from late June to early July, 2022, in an enormous white marquis in elegant Chelsea grounds, shopping for an array of high luxury, spanning contemporary, vintage and antique high jewellery, fabulous classic Ferraris, fine art, furniture, clocks and silverware, rare books, objects and minerals.
1962 Ferrari Berlinetta in its original colour
Among the celebrities and luminaries, composer and impresario of musical theatre Andrew Lloyd Webber (Lord Webber), Olympic Champion Lord Coe, former Chancellor George Osborne and actor Nigel Havers; jewellery designer Stephen Webster; royalty, aristocrats, and an inevitable mix of “Made in Chelsea” TV stars, joined the throngs amidst the stands featuring rare and exquisite luxury.
Masterpiece now stands firmly as part of the London social season, alongside Royal Ascot, the Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon and Queen’s Club tennis, before the glitterati jet off to sunnier climes in July and August.
Masterpiece London, 2022
This year, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the mood of visitors was decidedly upbeat as they had looked forward to networking in person again, and organisers spoke of buoyant sales.
Amidst the glorious diamond- and gemstone-set high jewellery, standouts included a 102-carat fancy brown yellow diamond necklace, Moussaieff by Anna Hu (pictured below), from Moussaieff Jewellers; a Dragonfly Brooch, set with diamonds, emeralds and tsavorites, from Cindy Chao; an exquisite Mellerio diamond and ruby necklace, dated circa 1905, from S.J. Phillips; and Queen Marie-Antoinette’s pearls, mounted in a necklace, at Wartski.
102-carat fancy brown yellow diamond necklace, Moussaieff by Anna Hu, from Moussaieff Jewellers, worn by Lucie Brough at Masterpiece
Sumptuous antique and vintage jewels featured at Sandra Cronin, gorgeous gem-set pieces abounded at Sabbadini, and Verdura presented an opulent assortment of Retro jewels with links to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Mellerio necklace, circa 1905, seen at S.J. Phillips
The Patrons and VIP lounge was packed throughout the fair with serious collectors, aesthetes and aficionados of high luxury sipping Pol Roger champagne and discussing their personal highlights of the show.
Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough, a regular visitor to Masterpiece
The magnificent luxury on offer, and the prestige of the collectors, have ensured Masterpiece’s place at the top table of international art fairs.