COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Suzanne Belperron. Citrine and rock crystal brooch, ca. 1930. Courtesy Valérie Danenberg

Suzanne Belperron’s work is well respected in France and gaining more renown in the US as well. As we have previously discussed her work, we were delighted to discover this unique brooch made of citrine, rock crystal and 18K carats gold. This piece, which dates to the 1930s, is extraordinary because of the quality and size […]

Minaudière by CHANEL, ca. 2012. Courtesy of Chanel.

The minaudière, a term coined by Estelle Arpels (wife of Alfred van Cleef, founder of the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels), entered both women’s vocabulary and their wardrobes in the 1930s.  Irresistibly handy, and literally made to fit in the palm of one’s hand, the minaudière, a small-scale handbag or clutch, was a clever upgrade […]

Monkey stealing a banana. Articulated monkey pendant is encrusted with pavé Champagne diamonds and is carrying a Yellow Sapphire Banana. Courtesy of Marc Alary.

  Pluralism of styles does not warrant innovation. In present-day fashion, product, and jewelry design we mostly see repetition: revivals made contemporary with minor updates in cut, color, and size. Jewelry, by definition a means to personalizing an outfit, suffers from a similar malaise. The field lacks creativity and compensates for it with great numbers […]

Archaic design for necklace (with dark red garnets in cabochon) and brooch (with malachite). Courtesy of Lalaounis.

For saturated tastes such as ours today, few are the luxury pieces that stand apart. As consumers we have become blasé precisely because the market is crowded with too many brands fighting for our attention. Print ads, promotional videos, short films, Facebook endorsements, and chatty tweets raise the volume of noise and confusion. To counter […]

Lara Knutson. Soft Glass, 2010. Courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass.

Historians organize our experiences in neatly defined historic movements. Romanticism, the intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, found expression in artistic and literary works that deeply impacted the Western world until about 1850. Romantic works stemmed from heightened emotions and man’s aesthetic experience in the world. In turn, […]

Tiffany & Co. Vintage Minaudière. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

For the last ten years, auction houses have been steadily increasing their presence in the field of vintage fashion and accessories. Increased consumption of luxury goods has paralleled the ups and downs of the market and, as a result, it has generated an entire new category of product placement at auctions. While the major auction […]

Pierre Sterlé. Bracelet, 1950s. Courtesy of Sotheby's London.

If the world of high jewelry had a scent, this would be Jicky by Guerlain. Jicky, permeator of dreams and private moments, exudes old world elegance and simplicity just like finely set precious stones do. It is modern and evolving, evocative of new technology and seeker of excitement in new materials and techniques. As all […]

Rotende de Cartier. Courtesy of Cartier.

Granulation, an advanced technique of working with gold, involves the careful manufacture, sorting and soldering of a dizzying number of miniscule grains of gold on to an object’s surface. (Oxford Dictionary of Art) Most people associate granulation with Etruscan jewelry even though the technique is known to have been applied by Mesopotamians and Greeks as […]

Jean Fouquet. Bracelet, 1927. Courtesy of Hancocks.

Art Fairs are the millennials of art patronage. They proliferate rapidly, embrace life, art and technology in their 2.0 versions, and have no time to spare. Nurtured in times of privilege, they are overly specialized and exclusive, trendsetters in a post-modern culture that fosters breadth of knowledge rather than depth. In a calendar year, art […]