All posts filed under: Books

Tanzanite, the December birthstone…

Tanzanite is a fascinating blue stone discovered fairly recently. A variety of zoisite with a very peculiar blue-violet colour, its discovery dates from January 1967 by a miner named Ndugu Jumanne Ngoma. A fabulous story: on his way to visit his family, his attention is caught by very transparent and shiny crystals looking like rough tourmaline. A few hours later, the man has picked up from the ground several kilos of the stone, fascinated by the magnificent colour. He tries to sell it but at that time no one is interested. Eventually, the discovery is attributed to Manuel De Souza, who is the first to commercialise the stone one year later. The gem’s value was recognised by the Maison Tiffany & Co in 1968, naming it tanzanite as a tribute to its country of origin. Close to the colour of the amethyst, the gem  also has a bluish colour deep as sapphire. It may also appear pink, due to its natural and intense pleochroism which makes the stone fascinating. Moreover because it is found in …

An Exercise in Style, by Van Cleef & Arpels

An Exercise in Style, a poetic and successful one for two centenarian Parisians. Fruit of a poetic encounter between the high jewellery Maison Van Cleef  & Arpels and the prestigious prestigieuse Gallimard Publishing House this coffee table book describes words, stones and metal for a literary and visual promenade.   This tasty and charming book that you go through with you best girlfriends or alone coiled in you couch sipping tea, is a feminine format book that you leaf through page by page taking your time to savour each detail… Thrilled by so much beauty and intelligence, I could not refrain from telling you about it. Indeed, because each page is surprising and interesting in both the approach and the artistic and creative research. Drawings, images, text, mathematical formula… Every detail is polished and crafted like a high jewellery piece. Twenty-five words dear to the heart of the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels have been carefully chosen, defined and then described by a writer I envy, illustrated by an expert hand, taking us into the imaginary world …

« Bejewelled Treasures »: The Al-Thani collection

The much-awaited exhibition “Bejewelled treasures”, the Al Thani collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London cannot fail to impress. The impression, on the contrary, will be to have eyes filled with stars and the palpable emotion of having seen something quite exceptional. A private collection exploring the great themes, from tradition to modernity, in Indian jewellery. The exhibition features over a hundred objects and jewellery pieces from the private collection of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani. The jewels are organized into six different universes: treasure, court, kunden & enamel, transition period, modernity, contemporary masters. For each, one spectacular piece of jewellery serves as an introduction to the universe. The exhibition welcomes you with a turban ornament dating from 1935. A fabulous piece sparkling like a thousand flames due to the presence of 17 diamonds of unprecedented purity, totaling 152.64ct. This ornament also illustrates the influence of Europe on India by the simple detail of the mount which is made of platinum and not gold as traditionally used in India. In the first part …

DUODECI crowdfunding on ULULE, participate!

DUODECI, the formidable concept which aims to highlight international artistic talent and French know-how for high jewellery creation, has launched a crowdfunding on ULULE.  The crowdfunding session on Ulule aims to publicise a new website that breaks the codes and gives you access to collector items. Do not hesitate PARTICIPATE! Only 10 days left! I was lucky enough to follow this adventure since its inception and I met one of the founders of the project to let you know a little more. Arnaud Pradat, hello, please tell us more about your background? I created my own company at the age of 21, « L’atelier de Paris » in the heart of Paris, then a boutique in Agen, my hometown. I was honoured with the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France for jewellery in 1994 (best jeweller). With 7 children, I decided to focus on my family life and I also decided to dedicate myself to transmission of knowledge as a priority. You are the creator of DUODECI, can you tell us about this project? I owe this …

Must have: the GRAFF Diamonds book.

A noteworthy event for the end of the year, Maison GRAFF is releasing a magnificent coffee table book for fine jewellery connoisseurs, lovers of precious stones or simply fine book collectors. Without a doubt a MUST HAVE for the festive season, the ideal gift to ask Santa! Seriously, it’s already on my WISH LIST! The book traces the fascinating career history of the London jeweller Laurence Graff, his debut and his creations, through texts and interviews by Vivienne Becker, Maria Doulton, Joanna Hardy, Nina Hald, Nicholas Foulkes, Joanne Harris, and a notable introduction by well known Suzy Menkes (Vogue). “The East End boy who transformed himself into the King of Diamonds”, self-taught, lucky and smart, Laurence Graff believed in the motto “The Sky’s the limit” and eventually established himself as the specialist of the most beautiful diamonds in the world, providing gems for kings, queens and members of the elite, his creations always more impressive in terms of size and number of stones. The book highlights legendary gems such as the Lesotho Promise (a 603 …

A book for Christmas…

Undoubtedly the highlight of the year 2014, the Maison Piaget finishes on a high note with the release of this beautiful book celebrating 140 years of creation and know-how. The author of the book, Florence Müller, a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, carried out some thorough research, certainly more than I did for my previous article about Piaget. With the help of the historical heritage department of Maison Piaget directed by Alain Borgeaud and Béatrice Vuille-Willemetz, she retraced the history of the brand, specialist of the ultra-thin watch.

The Cartier exhibition: The style and history

Just like the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition last year at the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts, Cartier presents its jewels and its know-how in the salons of the Grand Palais with an original scenography by Antoine + Manuel. The exhibition ends February 16, 2014, so hurry up! The Maison Cartier had not been exhibited in Paris since 1989, although it regularly presents pieces throughout the world. This year, in Paris, more than 600 creations are showcased, representing 150 years of history of the Maison. The diversity of the brand is brought to light, from tiaras and crowns to small everyday objects, clocks, minaudières… not forgetting the most striking pieces of high jewellery. The Maison Cartier was founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, who then occupied a small workshop in Paris, Rue Montorgueil. In 1899, the Maison moved to the Rue de la Paix and increases its influence, especially among kings. The Maison Cartier creations appeal through their references to the classicism of the French tradition, the perpetuation of good taste “à la française” that allows …

In Praise of Hands, the art of fine jewellery at Van Cleef & Arpels

In Praise of Hands, book by Franco Cologni edited by Marsilio Editori This week I had the opportunity to make a beautiful discovery. An enchanting journey with the power to suspend time… Like an early Christmas gift, for a high jewellery lover such as myself! A journey into the heart of high jewellery, plunging into the secrets of the prestigious Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, In Praise of Hands, these hands which have known how to craft unique pieces for over a hundred years. ©Bérengère Treussard Inside a cosy secret building begins this unforgettable experience with Céline Richard, editor of Précieux Webzine, her excellent article on this same topic can be found here. With Céline Richard (right), editor of Précieux Webzine For the book launching of “In Praise of Hands”, Van Cleef & Arpels made it possible for us to revive the experience of Mr. Franco Cologni in the workshop of the Maison. A necklace in the setting process. ©Bérengère Treussard Indeed, the recently renovated workshop brings together all the skills necessary for the realisation of …

The Art of BULGARI, La Dolce Vita & Beyond

Aaaaah, Italy in the 50s and 60s, the Dolce Vita, voluptuous and glamorous women, sumptuous dresses and jewels… obviously by Bulgari. From Sophia Loren to Liz Taylor, Bulgari‘s colourful and very contemporary pieces of jewellery have appealed to a number of Hollywood icons. As a reminder, and because the history of a brand is often as exciting as the jewellery it created, the Maison Bulgari was born in 1884 in Rome, Via Sistina. In 1905, the founder, Sotirio Bulgari, a Greek emigrant from a family of goldsmiths, assisted by his sons Costantino and Giorgio, opened the Bulgari flagship boutique in Rome, Via Condotti. At the beginning of the 20th century, the two Bulgari brothers developed a keen interest in precious stones, jewellery and watches. They developed their know-how and gradually replaced their father in the management of the company. The first years after the Second World War marked a historic turning point in the history of Bulgari. Giorgio and Costantino decided to move away from the strict rules of the French goldsmiths’ traditions and created …