On the return of jewelry to their historical homeland, i.e. in the archives of the house where they were created, they started talking back in the mid-1980s. But this topic became especially popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when some jewelry houses began to organize special exhibitions of their jewelry (in 1992, Van Cleef & Arpels held the first such exhibition at the Galliera Museum in Paris), and other brands, such as Bvlgari, are thinking about the upcoming major anniversary. One way or another, today every self-respecting jewelry house has a special heritage department and its custodians. These people study archival documents and make a list of the most important and valuable items to be found from collectors and returned to the archives. This is done including then,so that historical things could appear in all their splendor to the general public - after all, things from private collections, alas, are rarely seen in the museum at the exhibition.
The heads of heritage departments of four world jewelry brands told about their latest acquisitions.
Pierre Rainero, director of heritage and style at Cartier
The collection of recent acquisitions turned out to be very diverse. It features provence items, such as the 1972 Chimera bracelet, commissioned by Mexican actress Maria Felix from a pre-existing coral dragon sculpture. Or the magnificent oval, baguette and cushion cut platinum amethyst parure performed by the London department of Cartier in 1926. The special order was placed by Gladys Mary Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough - she subsequently redesigned the sautoir several times. The archives were replenished with the 1911 tiara, a wonderful example of a combination of Western design and oriental, Islamic motives. Although Juste un Clou was invented in the 1970s, the theme of the nail has been present in Cartier's repertoire since the early 20th century: diamond pins from 1910 and 1926 are excellent examples of the style.I will mention another important item: a handbag from 1963, owned by Jeanne Toussaint, a woman of incredible taste. In addition to the emotional aspect of provenance, the bag showcases Toussaint's talent as Cartier's director of accessories design, a position she has held since the early 1920s.
1 of 6 Oriental-style bandeau, Cartier Paris, 1911 © Press Office Chimera Bracelet, Cartier Paris, 1972 © Press Office of Parure with Amethysts, Cartier London, 1926 © Press Office Nail Brooch, Cartier Paris, 1926 © Press Office Brooch Nail, Cartier Paris, 1910 © press service Bag, Cartier Paris, 1963. Formerly owned by Jeanne Toussaint, creative director of Cartier © press service
Claire Gunne, Director of Heritage Chaumet
In 1960-1970s unique avant-garde creations for Chaumet were created by couturier Pierre Sterlet. Among his works is the 1965 Alexandre brooch, inspired by the image of Alexander the Great. Chain mail in gold weave with marquis cut diamonds, obsidian head (by Pierre Lemoine) topped with a diamond crown, baroque pearl mantle combined with three strokes of calibrated rubies, a sharp saber made of baguette diamonds - this piece reflects a bold and unconventional approach to creating jewelry. The Alexandre brooch, part of the Jeux de cartes ("Playing Cards") series, once belonged to Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, wife of Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III.
Brooch Alexandre, Chaumet, 1965 © press service
Liz McDonald, Director of Heritage and Exhibitions, Van Cleef & Arpels
This year, very important pieces of jewelry were acquired for the archive collection. The pair of floral brooches features ruby (1957) and sapphire (1961) cores surrounded by curved yellow gold petals with circular notches to create the illusion of movement. Dynamism is also inherent in the Daisy brooches (1966) with blue sapphire petals and turquoise stamens. The Leaves brooch (1949) is striking in its size: its length is 14.5 cm. The decoration can be attached to the shoulder. In the Entre ouverte ring (1956), rubies in an invisible setting patented by the house are set in a yellow gold frame like an ajar shell. The large colorless diamond gives the look to the surreal eye of Salvador Dali. Finally, the famous avant-garde Zip necklace, which can be zipped and turned into a bracelet.The 1951 piece we purchased is of particular value as it is the second Zip necklace produced by the jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels.
1 of 6 Entre ouverte ring, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1956 © Press Office Zip Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1951 © Press Office Marguerite Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1966 © Press Office Flower Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1957 © Press Office Flower Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1961 © Press Office Leaves Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, 1949 © Press Office
Lucia Boscaini, head of Bvlgari heritage
The Heritage Collection has been expanded with a pair of earrings from the private collection of Audrey Hepburn. The jewelry in gold, platinum and diamonds (circa 1960) perfectly reflects the natural understated elegance of the actress. It is known that she acquired these earrings in Rome, then her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer inherited them, who presented the jewel to his wife Giovanna at the birth of her son. Another piece with provenance is the gold statuette David di Donatello on a malachite stand, which was awarded to the actress Gina Lollobrigida in 1956. Between 1956 and 1959, the Bvlgari jewelry house produced a precious trophy for the Italian Film Awards. Historic Serpenti necklaces rarely appear at auctions, but we managed to get a 1970s Serpenti with black enamel and diamonds. The famous 1991 Bvlgari choker was complemented by a similar 1989 earrings design,they also use amethysts, citrines, emeralds and diamonds.
1 of 5 Bvlgari Earrings, 1989 © Press Service Serpenti Necklace, Bvlgari, c. 1970 © Press Office Bvlgari Earrings, once owned by Audrey Hepburn (c. 1960) © Press Office David di Donatello statuette, made by Bvlgari, 1956. Once owned by Gina Lollobrigida © Press Office Bvlgari Earrings, 1989 © Press Office>