|The Emerald Maharani Necklace by Nirav Modi made of graduated, rare, vivid green emerald beads totaling more than 870 carats complemented by more than 146 carats of oval shaped and pear shaped diamonds|
The Paris Biennale des Antiquaires is not only one of the world’s most important antique fairs but it is also an important stage for international high jewelry brands. However, with the organization’s renewed focused on antique galleries, a number high jewelers left the show—from a reported 14 in 2014 to four this year. Among those who have pulled out are Parisian jewelers Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels Bocheron, Italian jewelry house Bulgari, and Hong Kong jewelry artist Wallace Chan.
|Sketch of 2016 Black Label Masterpiece Winter Leaves Necklace by Cindy Chao The Art Jewel|
Among the jewelers exhibiting at the 28th edition of the fair (being held September 10 – 18 at the Grand Palais), perhaps the biggest name and the most surprising is Cindy Chao, the Taiwanese jewelry artist who has gained international acclaim for her hand-sculptured, gem-encrusted jewels. It is not only her first time at the fair but it the first time her pieces will be open to a public exhibition.
The 41-year-old jewelry artist (who works under the brand, Cindy Chao Art Jewels) will be showing her most iconic pieces from her 12-year career and will unveil her latest “Black Label Masterpiece” pieces, her most celebrated and collectible jewels.
|White gold ring set with a 10.15-carat round diamond, 84 emeralds (1.20 carats) and 387 white diamonds (8.97 carats) by de Grisogono|
The Geneva luxury jewelry brand, de Grisogono, known for jewels and watches as flamboyant as the brand’s founder, Fawaz Gruosi, is returning to the Biennale for the first time since 2008. For the event the brand is focusing on larger precious stones of significant importance, most notably a 404-carat diamond it recently purchased that is being cut and polished in New York.
|26.26-carat Ceylon cushion-shaped sapphire inlaid into a chalcedony bangle sapphire by Boghossian|
Another art jeweler known for “audacious” designs and using outsized materials is Boghossian. The brand, based in Geneva and Antwerp is known for its interpretation of what it calls an “East meets West” style—based on Armenian, Persian, Syrian or Byzantine influences. It is also known for what its “art of inlay” technique where gems are set within one another.
Nirav Modi, a company known for its Indian-influenced luxury jewels, will be featuring three one-of-a-kind pieces led by the Emerald Maharani Necklace (top photo) made of graduated, rare, vivid green emerald beads totaling more than 870 carats complemented by more than 146 carats of oval shaped and pear shaped diamonds.
|Portable sundial, Pierre LeMaire, Paris, early 18th Cnetury, from the Musée International de l’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It’s part of the “The Conquest of Time” exhibition by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie|
For the first time there will be an historical non-selling timepiece exhibit by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, an organization tasked with preserving the historical heritage of high watchmaking. “The Mastery of Time,” a thematic exhibition illustrating the history of watchmaking and tracing the measurement of the origins of time. The exhibit will include 100 artifacts and historic watchmaking in an exhibition made up of six sections, designed to highlight the developments that have made “watchmaking one of the finest achievements of humankind.”
While the number of jewelry exhibitors has shrunk dramatically, the overall show has grown by 30 percent, according to the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, which organizes the nine-day event. There will be a minimum of 113 galleries from 12 countries exhibiting, making it the largest art event in 2016, according to the Syndicat. It also is the last time the fair will be held biannually. After this year it will be an annual event.
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