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Friday, January 15, 2016

Jewels (And One More Watch) For Year Of The Monkey

Earrings in 18k black rhodium gold, fancy sapphires, tsavorites and fire opals by Lydia Courteille

It wasn’t easy finding jewels depicting monkeys, and more specifically the “fire monkey,” which is the animal to be celebrated for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

The Lunar New Year or Spring Festival will be celebrated Feb. 8 this year. It is near and dear to those living in Asia and those of Chinese descent all over the world. Below is a selection of jewelry (and in one case a ladies watch) from the US and Europe with artistic portrayals of the animal.

The well-known Parisian high jewelry designer, Lydia Courteille, specializes in creating wild, colorful and innovative representations of flora and fauna. So she had no problem designing two sets of whimsical earrings created with colorful diamonds and precious gems and crafted in extraordinary detail. In both instances, the pavé jeweled monkeys are dangling off of a vine attached to a pavé jeweled rose.

Earrings in 18k black rhodium gold with pink sapphires, brown diamonds, black diamonds and pink opal by Lydia Courteille

One is in different shades of pink and brown with its other hand holding a cluster of grapes made of pink opal. The second in blue shades is holding a single teardrop shaped blue agate.

This motif goes to extreme lengths with another pair of earrings in fiery reds and oranges with the monkeys in the same position enclosed in a circle of tsavorites and fire opals (top picture).

Meanwhile, the artistic Spanish jeweler, Carrera y Carrera, made a yellow gold monkey head ring with the gold on the top of the head meticulously carved in intricate detail (pictured above). The gold-carved skull is then topped with rows of colorful precious gems.

Borgioni, an American jeweler with Italian roots, created a playful charm necklace featuring a brown diamond pavé monkey in a classic pose scratching its head (pictured above). Beside the figure are two bananas made of yellow sapphire pavé.

I did a story on Year of the Monkey watches but missed one and here it is. Jaquet Droz has created two timepieces in two versions based on its Petite Heure Minute collection and inspired by the legend of Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King.

The dial of the Petite Heure Minute Monkey (pictured above) depicts the animal leaping onto a branch to pick a peach. These painted dials are presented in 35 or 39 mm red gold cases. The bezel of the smaller watch is set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

The Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey (pictured above) is made of lacquer and mother-of-pearl then sculpted in gold, perched on the branch of a peach tree against a background of foliage. The artwork has been created in two versions. One is enclosed in a red gold case and the other in a white gold case with diamonds. The oscillating weight, designed to match, marries gold that is first engraved then patinated, with black onyx.

Both models are powered by the Jaquet Droz 2653.P automatic movement with a 68-hour power reserve. They are available in a limited edition of 28.

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