Vintage jewellery is one of those things that can get all the ladies excited – I’m personally hyped because every single piece is almost unique, made and designed with great thoughts and workmanship that is already lost today.
Palais Royal Paris has launched an exhibition with a theme of “Parisian Zoo”, showcasing a collection of jungle animals of vintage fine jewellery collectables, ranging from late 19th century up to pieces from 1950s onwards, including signature pieces from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, Philippe Wolfers…etc.
Back in the days, high jewellery designers work their magic around natural materials that they have on hand. This cute owl (it’s the size of my palm) is one good example. The roughness gives character to the piece while the rest adds the “life” to it.
These Cartier coral pieces made in the 1970s are more refined but still, you can see the “braveness” in the design ideas.
It doesn’t lack funkiness in these designs… see that gold and enamel panther claw brooch! Very 70s indeed.
This black and white enamel Giraffe Bangle is by Frescarolo in the 1960s.
This is one of the most awesome pieces at the exhibition – an Art Nouveau enamel and gem set necklace by the famous Philippe Wolfers made in 1902. Not only the size of the old-cut diamond and the 15 carat opal matter, the delicate peacock design with plique-a-jour enamel finishing is one-of-a-kind. I bet you would never see anything like this unless someone order-make it from a hidden skilful goldsmith.
These dragonflies are my LUSH PICKS – this top one has got its wings movable, while the one here below has got a rarely intense blue semi-transparent enamel wings. You won’t be able to see this one there as I know one of my friends has already bought it (you know who you are). So be quick to check them out before they are gone – each of them has its story and history while they are all individually unique. I don’t think you can find a second piece, especially quite a lot of them were order-made by previous owners back in the days.
This brooch looks like a painting but it is actually smaller than my palm. When you look close enough, you can see that it is actually a mosaic picture. Pure amazing.
Don’t think this is any other normal brooch. First of all, it is tiny like a HK$5 coin, but look closer – the sapphire of the rooster is in one piece, which is extraordinarily rare in cut. What’s more, it’s a product from 1880.
Palais Royal Paris
Exhibition date: from now till 15th Sept 2014
G/f, 74A Hollywood Road, Central. Hong Kong
tel: (852) 2964 9088
The pieces range from HK$30,000 and up, but I personally think it’s all worth the price when you know the researches done after each and single piece, the storage and care, the history, and the craftsmanship behind. Definitely worth spending an hour to get lost in the old glamorous days. Enjoy!
*Special thanks to Esmee for the brilliant explanation and historical stories behind each delicate piece!
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