Posts tagged flower brooch

Masterpiece London 2016, showcasing the best of the decorative arts, closes its doors for another year tomorrow.  Here are my top 5 picks of the best jewels:

1.  Pink Sapphire Fleur de Lys Brooch by JAR, exhibited by Symbolic and Chase: This piece also won the Masterpiece Jewellery Exhibit of the Year.  The experts said:  ‘’Technical tour-de-force of mesmerizing light-reflecting pave-set purple and pink sapphires, the outwardly simple fleur-de-lis design reminiscent in its form of an 18th century jewel..”

 Pink Sapphire Fleur de Lys Brooch by JAR

2. Diamond Sapphire and Emerald Peacock Feather Necklace by Boucheron, exhibited by Sandra Cronan:  A beautiful piece made in 1883, the asymmetrical design is groundbreaking for its time.  It was bought in 1883 by the Grand Duke Alexis Romanov for his mistress.  Sandra Cronan bought the piece in bad shape and it was lovingly restored to a high standard with the cooperation of Boucheron.

 Diamond Sapphire and Emerald Peacock Feather Necklace by Boucheron

3.  A Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Spray Leaf Brooch by Carnet, exhibited by Symbolic and Chase: A brooch in the shape of a spray of leaves, it shows that flower design can still be reinterpreted in a new, refreshing number.  The fancy intense yellow diamonds are of superb quality and the leaves are mounted ‘en tremblant’, reminiscent of grand jewels of the 18th and 19th centuries.

A Fancy Intense Yellow Spray Leaf Brooch by Carnet

4.  Set of Jewellery by Sotheby’s Diamonds, exhibited by S.J. Phillips: High quality diamonds, creatively set in the most delicate settings that make high jewellery eminently wearable.  This set also incorporates the use of blue steel, adding a contemporary edge to the jewellery.

 Set of Jewellery by Sotheby’s Diamonds

5.  Let Life be Beautiful Sculptural Brooch by Wallace Chan: Already covered in a previous blog post, but Wallace Chan’s work had to be included in the top 5. Meticulously colour graded precious stones painstakingly set into stunningly coloured titanium, this pushes the boundaries of creativity to another level.

  Let Life be Beautiful Sculptural Brooch by Wallace Chan

The Queen of Diamonds

Queen Elizabeth II is agreed by most to have an inimitable, timeless, regal style.  In both her private and personal life diamonds have been a highlight of that style, whether expressed through impressive diamond parures or the discreet elegance of her engagement ring.  According to a recent article in The Times, the Queen enjoys tiara time- when she sits down with her small, specialised tool kit and alters the changeable pieces in her tiaras, adding or taking away decorative elements and changing drops and stones.

In celebration of her 90th birthday, I highlight five of my favourite pieces from the Royal Collection.

The Russian Kokoshnik Tiara

The Russian Kokoshnik Tiara being prepared to go on display during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Set in platinum, the tiara was given to Queen Alexandra in 1888 on behalf of 365 Peeresses of the United Kingdom.  The shape was highly fashionable at the time- it was based on the headdresses of Russian peasant girls.  For a tiara, it remains a curiously contemporary looking jewel due to the simplicity and elegance of the line.

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch, the most valuable brooch in the world.  The marquise diamond suspended from the emerald and diamond necklace is also a cleaving from the Cullinan Diamond.

We can’t talk about the Queen’s jewels and not mention the Cullinan.  This is the most valuable brooch in the world, made from the 3rd and 4th largest cleavings of the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan.  The stones weigh and impressive 94.4 and 63.6 carats and are known affectionately as Granny’s Chips, after Queen Mary, who set them.

The Queen’s Engagement Ring

The Queen's Engagement Ring

A classic and timeless design, the stone for this ring came from a tiara that had belonged to Prince Philip’s mother.  The rest of the stones were used to make a stunning Art Deco bracelet.  To this day, if the Queen starts twisting the ring round her finger, her staff recognise it as a sign of intense annoyance.

The Greville Chandelier Earrings

The Queen wearing the Greville Chandelier Earrings, the Festoon Necklace and the Russian Kokoshnik Tiara.

Included because I love a good pair of verticals and I think these are beautifully proportioned.  Gifted to the Queen Mother by Mrs. Ronnie Greville, she presented them to her daughter as a wedding present.  Made by Cartier, they include every known modern cut of diamond.

The Rhodesian Flame Lily Brooch

The Rhodesian Flame Lily Brooch

This brooch was a present from the children of Southern Rhodesia during a 1947 tour of Africa.  It is a highly realistic rendering of a flame lily in diamonds, the (then) Rhodesia’s national flower.  The Queen wore it on the lapel of her black dress as she flew back home on the death of her father.

The Festoon Neklace

Another gift from her father, the Queen often wears this with the Chandelier earrings mentioned above.  It was made up from some loose diamonds George VI inherited and probably made by Garrards, the then Crown Jeweller.