Masterpiece London showcases magnificent contemporary jewels
By David Brough
Ultra-rich collectors from around the world descended upon Masterpiece London Art Fair this summer to shop for the highest luxury in art, jewellery and home furnishings. The event is part of the London social season, when the international jet set visit a series of cultural and sporting events around the British capital.
CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel
LONDON, July 2018 – Masterpiece London Art Fair showcased extraordinary contemporary jewellery designs and a variety of exotic and unusual natural materials set in high jewellery this summer.
The event, which took place in Chelsea in southwest London from June 28 to July 4, attracted luxury shoppers from around the world hunting for contemporary and estate jewellery, as well as fine art and exquisite home furnishings and rare books.
The fair offers an unparalleled opportunity for new and established collectors to discover exceptional works for sale across a range of price points from a total of 160 international exhibitors.
Extraordinary contemporary jewellery was shown by leading designers including Rome-based Fabio Salini, exhibiting for the first time at the fair.
Taiwanese fine jewellery brand CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel presented designs from their Black Label and White Label collections, and coloured diamond specialist Moussaieff joined the fair for the first time this year.
Fabio Salini – Bracelet in Rock-crystal
Rare antique jewellery by masters such as Cartier, Boucheron and Faberge were offered at SJ Phillips, Hancocks, Véronique Bamps and Epoque Fine Jewels.
Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura/Herz–Belperron and Grima presented both their heritage collections and unique contemporary pieces.
Jewellery trends emerging at the show included tastes for extremely rare and colourful gemstones; art jewellery featuring unusual non-precious materials; inspiration from nature, notably the ocean; and 1950s-1970s signed pieces.
Bond Street jeweller Moussaieff Jewellers presented jewellery featuring a remarkable array of rare untreated gemstones, such as a 57.21 carat Mozambican Paraiba tourmaline surrounded by emeralds and diamonds; a deep blue 49.70 carat Burma sapphire, the “Royal Blue”, and jewellery set with sapphires in a myriad of colour combinations.
On-trend pieces included ear climbers featuring Paraiba tourmalines and pink diamonds.
Fabio Salini, also exhibiting for the first time at Masterpiece, presented gold jewellery set with a Brazilian plant, capim dourado, or Golden Grass, and used bamboo in precious pieces, highlighting nature’s fragility.
“These items represent a dialogue between the natural elements and jewellery – which is more precious?” Salini said.
He showcased a necklace made from sea shells and orange coral.
Cindy Chao, Fabio Salini, Moussaieff Jewellers, and Chatila celebrated nature, such as Cindy Chao’s Fish Brooch – a fish made from emerald and white diamonds, as well as precious jewels representing dragonflies and butterflies, and Moussaieff Jewellers’ butterfly set with Australian fire opal and a variety of coloured gems, which looks like it is ready to lift off.
The ocean was a popular theme: Fabio Salini used coral and diamonds in earrings inspired by the sea.
Moussaieff – Vivid Yellow Ring
Among the estate jewellery, 1950s-1970s signed pieces were very popular among Millennial visitors to Masterpiece, said Thierry Bamps of Monaco-based exhibitor Veronique Bamps.
“This period is very fashion-led and wearable,” he said.
Chunky Cartier and Boivin gold jewellery from the 1950s and 1960s was extremely collectable.
Among earlier periods, the best examples of Belle Epoque, Art Deco and Art Nouveau jewellery are highly sought after, Bamps said.
Wartski, well-positioned at the front of the show, showcased rare Art Nouveau pieces by Rene Lalique and Faberge, which attracted large crowds.
Among more recent jewels, a pair of earrings by JAR, dated 1995, featuring garnet and tourmaline, were standout items at Masterpiece.
Moussaieff – 4.24cts Pink and 31.24cts White Diamond Chandelier Earrings, Set in Platinum