Vendorafa exhibition showcases ‘Glory of Gold’
LONDON – ‘The Glory of Gold’ – a selling exhibition of ancient and modern gold jewellery – opens in Liberty’s iconic Regent Street store in London on 29th November. On show will be pre-Colombian and Roman artefacts from Kojis – the antique jewellery specialist in whose concession in Liberty the exhibition will be based – and contemporary gold jewels from the luxury Italian brand, Vendorafa.
Whether antique or modern, all the pieces in the exhibition are of consummate craftsmanship and demonstrate very clearly how little the skills of the goldsmith have changed over the centuries.
“Vendorafa is a family business which has been trading for over 60 years in Valenza, a small town to the north of Milan. The area has a rich artistic heritage and this informs all aspects of the company’s work today. Its goldsmiths work in a time-honoured tradition, perpetuating and honing ancient techniques such as modelling, hammering, engraving and embossing to make each piece of Vendorafa jewellery truly individual,” explains Ben Williams, Business Development Manager at Advalorem, a company which is part of WB The Creative Jewellery Group and enjoys the sole UK distributorship for the Vendorafa brand.
The look of Vendorafa jewellery is immediately recognisable. The gold used is a rich butter-yellow and is worked to perfection by the company’s goldsmiths to create a palette of varied textures and tones. It is this virtuoso gold work that is Vendorafa’s most celebrated signature. Designs frequently incorporate both highly polished and brushed matt surfaces to create delightful contrasts, which are further enhanced by the sparing use of pave diamonds adding light and visual excitement.
No detail is overlooked. The backs of the jewels are as pleasing as the fronts. Necklaces and bracelets are exquisitely articulated and all clasps and fastenings are not only integral to the design but also work like clockwork.
Natural floral and vegetable motifs are a particular inspiration for Vendorafa’s designers and many pieces have an organic and sculptural quality. This is particularly true of many of the designs within this exhibition.
Sfera – This 18ct yellow gold sphere on a black silk cord comprises hammered oval shapes of different sizes. These combine to give a natural feel to a seemingly simple, but actually, highly complex design.
Virtuosi Uno – This suite in 18ct yellow gold set with GVS diamonds has a strongly structural feel, reflecting the architectural training of its designer. The strong, sweeping curves are enhanced by intricate diamond detailing.
Flora Uno ring – This collection in 18ct gold and GVS diamonds offers an intricate and highly feminine three dimensional style strongly reminiscent of tree branches or coral forms.
Petali Due bracelet – The Mobius strip, the mathematical format for a twisted band, and its unique properties are at the heart of this design. Alternate sections of the bracelet additionally carry a diamond accent that appears to fold around the back of the individually articulated link, adding further magic to an already breath-taking design.
Tutt’Oro cuff – This visually stunning cuff has a hammered anticlastic surface that is perfectly framed by the highly polished organic lines around the outer edge. The curves mirror those so often seen in the natural form of leaves and flower petals. This design sits incredibly well on the wrist and will always be a talking point.
Foglie Bangle – 18ct gold and GVS diamonds. Based on the leaf form, this bangle wraps around the wrist and exudes magic and theatre. The veins and textures of the leaf are applied by hand to create an incredibly realistic effect.
Prices for the Vendorafa jewels on show in ‘The Glory of Gold’ range from around £1,500 – £20,000.
Antique designs from Kojis also on show include pieces from around the world, some dating back to pre-Christian times. Of special interest is a Disquis pendant necklace dated at between 700 and 1530 AD. The design, which carries a five figure price tag, features a man with arms distorted to appear wing like, wearing a headdress and avian mask.
“The craftsmanship and skills required to work in gold have changed remarkably little over the centuries and although some two thousand years separate Vendorafa’s jewels from some of the early pieces on show in this exhibition, their workmanship is equally accomplished. Indeed some of the hand-beaten finishes used by Vendorafa utilise techniques used in the early designs on display. These designs are made to endure and are undoubtedly the antiques of the future,” says Ben Williams.