Biennale des Antiquaires 2016 – welcome to the world of collectors!!
To create masterpieces and continue amazing others is a hard task. It is said that the easiest way to reach this goal is to make something you will personally enjoy.
For jewellers, taking part in Bienalle is like winning at the Olimpic games. Preparation takes up years, renting costs an arm and a leg, though recognition is the reward you get in return. Bienalle des Antiquaries is a perfect place for jewellery presentation, as the collectors of arts, antiques and jewels come to this event from all over the world. May I remind that this year only four jewellery brands were represented at Biennale.
Cindy Chao confessed during our open talk, “I have been dreaming about Biennale des Antiquaires for six years. So, when I was invited, you can imagine how happy I was.” You will soon be able to read my detailed interview with Cindy Chao, where she tells us how she entered Christie's auction and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as some other revelations of this talented and open-minded lady-master. Because only true masters can share with the whole world!
We recall that Biennale des Antiquaires is a beauty festival, which has been one of the most recognizable events in the global market of arts for the last 60 years. It is a great chance to purchase something unique or just get inspired with exceptional pieces of art.
But the fewness of visitors has really surprised me. I presumed to see crowds of people walking around Grand Palais, observing, estimating or just dreaming. Nothing of a kind! It was rather empty there. So I thought to myself: are there lots of people around the world who are really into art? How many of them can afford to buy any piece demonstrated at Bienalle? 2–4%? However, it should be mentioned that these are 2% of people who are becoming even richer through the years. The demand for the top price segment will always take place.
Being an Instagram user with numerous followers, I can affirm that collectors' items, true masterpieces or crafted jewellery aren't appreciated by a wide audience, whereas people are more accustomed to bears, swans, snakes and other living beings. Indeed, do many of them know Monet, Bernini?
How do people buy jewellery at Bienalle? “Generally, collectors are walking around in silence, observing and comparing. Afterwards a telephone rings, and someone says that he or she saw a certain piece and wants to buy it,”- said Dalia Boghossian. That's how it works.
But let's talk about beauty! In this article I want to present you with a new type of delight – delight of beauty. Take a look, get inspired, seek for something you will enjoy doing, and you'll come up to success! The biggest fears face the greatest achievements!
So, please, welcome!
Nirav Modi – jewellery that are dancing with a woman
Nirav Modi was born in Mumbai and grew up in Antwerp, a diamond capital of the world. Currently, he is the owner of Firestar Diamond. His father and grandfather sold diamonds and gems, and his mother was a gifted interior designer. Consequently, Nirav Modi possessed both love to design and family awareness of gems. Nirav Modi, being the successor of rich traditions of diamond jewellery production, says: “For me, impeccable craftsmanship should be taken for granted, as it is a base for creating masterpieces. Our raison d ’etre lies in creation of immortal and timeless jewellery, and this is what de?nes our desire for precision and perfection in every aspect of our craft. While each of our diamonds effuses an inherent beauty, we consider it our privilege to ably complement this charm with unparalleled craftsmanship to create exclusive diamond jewellery”.
In 2010 his jewels appeared on the covers of Christie’s and Sotheby’s catalogs. Nirav Modi set up his first boutique in India in 2014. By 2016 he had already opened boutiques in Deli, London, Mumbai, New York, Macao and Hong Kong.
I have totally fallen in love with his Water lily necklace, which is an absolute choice of Jewellery Masterpiece and Tatyana Pfaifer in particular. The lilies paintings of the French impressionist Claude Monet, appeared to be an inspiration behind this masterpiece. The necklace seemed to leave the artist's painting and turn into a precious one, encrusted with diamonds of 72 carats total and multicolored gems of 66.50 carats total. 2000 crafting hours resulted in a technical and design masterpiece.
“Our jewels are crafted to create fluidity for they must become a part of the woman and dance with her every movement,” says Nirav Modi.
It is a distinctive privilege to work with the most precious stones on earth and even more remarkable to be able to craft the rarest amongst them.
Just have a look at this wonder of nature! 26.49 carat Columbian emerald of transcendent color and clarity, presented by Nirav Modi at Biennale des Antiquaires.
Cindy Chao - lady-master
I was completely enchanted by Cindy Chao, who inspires with her life experience and frankness. In 2004 Cindy set up Cindy Chao The Art Jewel, since when her pieces of art could be found in private collections all over the world. She finds the best precious stones and frames them in a unique design.
– Which piece of jewellery wouldn't you ever create?
– A solitaire ring.
- But what if it's one of the best gems in the world?
– Anyway, I will put some details on it.
In 2007 some of her jewels were successfully sold at Christie's international auction. In 2010 her Royal Butterfly brooch, crafted in 2009, was added to the collection of The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Royal Butterfly is set with rubies, sapphires, colored diamonds, and tsavorites. The total weight of the gems is about 77 carats. One of the most intriguing design characteristics is the use of four large rough diamond slices atop a layer of faceted diamonds, forming the centers of the wings. It should be mentioned that it was the second butterfly, created by Cindy Chao. The first one came into being in 2008. Since that time a butterfly brooch has become her annual creation.
– Why butterfly?
– Butterfly's life is short, but beautiful. It is so important to get through a beautiful life.
– Why every year?
– Remember, I told you that 2007 was the most challenging year for me. Then I told myself: what if it is my last jewel? So let it be a butterfly, because it lives a short, but beautiful life.
“I was 36 then, and I thought: Wow! Every single piece I'll create could be seen by people in 300-500 years' time, and should still make them feel fascinated. That is why I decided to put more energy, thoughts and effort into it. I tried to challenge myself as much as I could to create even more valuable pieces.”
For example, in 2012 sapphire and diamond Transcendence butterfly was sold at Christie's for $952 866, which was four times bigger than its estimated value ($210 000–260 000)!
And this is the last ruby butterfly, made in 2015-2016 by Cindy Chao, from Black Label collection. Pay attention to the most singular Burmese Pgeon's Blood Ruby of 5,16 carats.
Cindy was born in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and lived in New York for some time. Her father was a sculptor, and her grandfather worked as an architect. “That's why I like creating big pieces,”- she laughs, meaning her heritage and love for sculpture. It takes her 2-3 years to create one piece of jewellery. These are unique one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
Cindy Chao uses titanium only. Despite its lightness, this metal is hard and rather complicated to work with. Nowadays lots of jewellers and designers are using titanium, thus Cindy says that her challenge is not in working with it, but in ability to make it invisible.
Look at Phoenix Feather brooch from Cindy Chao Black Label collection, presented at Biennale des Antiquaires. The brooch weighs only 36 grams and comprises around 1000 diamonds of nearly 90 carats total. Except for the lightness of this piece of art, its color palette is worth mentioning – more than 30 hues of yellow diamonds were used to craft this gorgeous kaleidoscope.
And this is my favorite one – Bowtie brooch (Black Label), which is a masterpiece from Ribbon collection. In the middle of the butterfly we can see an old-mind cut diamond of 76.91 carats and rubies of 110.54 carats total.
I have tried on these earrings with emeralds of 100 carats each. It's obvious that titanium is light, and its weight is minimized, but let's not forget about 200 carat emeralds. Nevertheless, the right balance and proportions made these earrings absolutely weightless! “When I saw these emeralds of 100 carats each, I liked them much. Frankly speaking, they weren't of the best color, but I found this light hue fresh and young”
Boghossian – unparalleled design and innovative techniques.
Boghossian Swiss jewellery house was founded in 2007 by Albert Boghossian. Several generations of his family have been selling diamonds. Boghossian house adores unique gems and tends to create original and unparalleled design. It is one of the only companies which can boast of its fancy gems collection, innovative methods and unique techniques of diamond setting. Needless to say, Boghossian masters have their own style and craftsmanship. The best known Boghossian techniques are Art of Inlay and Kissing Diamonds. Currently, Edmond Chin is the creative director of Boghossian. Being a famous designer, he makes exceptional pieces of art through the spectacle of mastery, technology and design.
And this is my favourite Boghossian tulip style ring with 5 carat pink diamond and white diamonds. As for me, it looks much like rose. Pink diamonds are rare, that already makes them gorgeous, but, being dressed in such a stunning design, they became absolutely gorgeous! Watch the video and love it the way I do.
Mesh necklace, presented at Biennale des Antiquaires 2016, with colorless diamonds of nearly 67 carats, and yellow diamonds of around 70 carats. The gems have a special setting, which gives the impression of vanished metal.
Boghossian necklace with oval Mozambique Paraiba tourmaline of 62.75 carats. Being massive and one of the most expensive gems up to date, it was constantly attracting the eyes of Biennale visitors.
Boghossian necklace with 15 Colombian emeralds of 120 carats total (treated emeralds), and diamonds of 150 carats total.
And this is a reversible diamond and ruby necklace – the technical victory of Boghossian house. You can wear it on both sides, while diamonds will be turning around.
De Grisogono – unique jewellery, embellished with rare gems from different parts of the world.
De Grisogono jewellery house was founded in Geneva in 1993. Its pieces are saturated with passion, fire, creativity and ingenuity. Since 2016 the company has focused on large and special diamonds. De Grisogono strives for purchasing the most singular minerals from all over the world to create marvelous and unparalleled pieces of jewellery art.
During the press conference, held in Grand Palais on the occasion of the opening of the 28th Biennale des Antiquaires, de Grisogono jewellery house announced its purchase of The Constellation – the most expensive rough diamond in the world. May I remind that in 2016 it was the second time de Grisogono appeared at Bienalle. It debuted here in 1998.
The Constellation is one in ten biggest diamonds in the world: it is 6 cm wide and weighs 813 carats. It was discovered by Canadian company Lucara Diamond in Karowe deposit in Botswana in November 2015. In May 2016 the gem was purchased by Dubai Company Nemesis International, a partner of de Grisogono, for $63 million, which is a record sum for diamonds.
Excellent natural characteristics of The Constellation – its color, clarity and carat weight – prove its uniqueness in terms of historical discoveries across the globe. It is expected that after gem cutting, which should be finished by the middle of 2017, it is going to be the biggest certified flawless diamonds in the world (D color).
Fawaz Gruosi, the founder and creative director of de Grisogono, commented on this purchase: “I am thrilled to have a chance to work with such an incredible and important diamond as The Constellation. As a jeweller, I am conscious of the extraordinary responsibility I have to the stone and to the team who have worked so hard to secure it. To be able to bring my creative skills to the cutting and setting process of such a stone is both an honor and a privilege, and I cannot wait to realize my vision for it.”
John Leitao, the chief executive director of de Grisogono, explained the commercial value of this purchase: “By purchasing the rights to The Constellation, de Grisogono has shown its commitment to bringing the most unique stones from around the world to our clients in exceptional and exclusive pieces. We firmly believe that, despite a challenging market environment, people will continue to cherish and value those objects which are truly unique and special, such as this extraordinary piece of history.”
Owing to the mutually beneficial collaboration with Nemesis Company, early in this year de Grisogono jewellery house demonstrated another rough diamond of 404 carats. Its presentation took place at a party within the Cannes Film Festival.
Most recently Fawaz Gruosi presented Pure desire, an exceptional 45.93 carat oval-cut diamond (D, VS1)