Jewels by JAR Exhibition at the MET

Sapphire, fire opal, amethyst, ruby, garnet and diamond  Butterfly Brooch, 1994 (Katharina Faerber/JAR)

Sapphire, fire opal, amethyst, ruby, garnet and diamond
Butterfly Brooch, 1994 (Katharina Faerber/JAR)

If there was ever a perfect example of why jewelry should be called art that you can wear, it would be the life’s work of Joel Arthur Rosenthal.

Rosenthal, working under the name JAR, is the first living jeweler to have a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and 400 pieces made over a span of 35 years are on display. He is renowned as much for his exceptional vision and execution skills as for his unusual business practices and personality. From his by-appointment Parisian shop, the secretive jeweler makes 100-120 wonderfully lush designs a year of his, not his client’s, choosing. The use of color, how the piece balances when worn, and the 3D effect of texture executed in gemstones is unparalleled, and has to be seen to be believed. It is only the second exhibition of his pieces and the first was an infamous London show in 2002 where all the lights were off and guests were given flashlights. The lights are on this time so you will get a good look at stunning jewelry that has mostly been loaned by his clients, but also come from the maison itself and the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Two fantastic interviews have been published recently that give some unusual insight into the mysterious jeweler. Vanessa Friedman of the Financial Times sat down with Rosenthal over peanut butter sandwiches in the Hamptons while Cathryn Horn of the New York Times chatted with him in Paris. It’s possible that they will be the last interviews until another exhibition comes up, whenever that may be.

The doors open to the public Wednesday, November 20, and the exhibition runs until March 9, 2014.

Diamond, aluminum, silver, and gold Geranium Brooch, 2007 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, aluminum, silver, and gold Geranium Brooch, 2007 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Silver, platinum and diamond bracelet, 2010 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Silver, platinum and diamond bracelet, 2010 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Sapphire, ruby, spinel, emerald, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, opal, aquamarine, citrine, and diamond Colored Balls Necklace, 1999 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Sapphire, ruby, spinel, emerald, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, opal, aquamarine, citrine, and diamond Colored Balls Necklace, 1999 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold Lilac Brooches, 2001 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Diamond, lilac sapphire, garnet, aluminum, silver, and gold Lilac Brooches, 2001 (Jozsef Tari/JAR)

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Geneva Auction Preview

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Americas and Switzerland at Christie's, holding 'The Orange', a 14.82-carat diamond.  (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Americas and Switzerland at Christie’s, holding ‘The Orange’, an exceptionally rare 14.82-carat diamond. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

On Tuesday, November 12, Christie’s will hold a Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva and there are some very interesting pieces hitting the block.

Continuing the recent streak of truly exceptional diamonds being offered at auction is a stone dubbed ‘The Orange’, which at 14.82 carats is the largest orange diamond ever graded by the GIA, and so may be the largest in existance. The pear-shaped gem, which is fancy vivid orange with VS1 clarity, is more than double the size of the previous record holder (which was under 6 carats) and carries an estimate of $18 million to $21 million. It will be the last lot of the day.

14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond being offered by Christie's.

14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond being offered by Christie’s.

18 pieces of jewelry from the enviable collection of Parisian society grand dame Hélène Rochas (1927-2011), wife of the famed fashion designer Marcel Rochas, will be offered at the sale as lots 218 thru 235. These include a number of pieces by René Boivin, as well as signed Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Verdura jewels.

René Boivin diamond and pearl earrings circa 1966 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

René Boivin diamond and pearl earrings circa 1966 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

Van Cleef & Arpels 'Magnolia' mystery-set ruby and diamond brooch circa 1968 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Magnolia’ mystery-set ruby and diamond brooch circa 1968 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

Verdura aquamarine, pink topaz and diamond bangle circa 1968 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

Verdura aquamarine, pink topaz and diamond bangle circa 1968 from the estate of Hélène Rochas.

Bolivian mining tycoon Simón Itturi Patiño (1862-1947), ‘The Tin King’, was famously a collector of exceptional gemstones and three of those pieces will be offered for sale. The highlight of his collection was a necklace bought for his wife in 1938 that featured a 45-carat emerald cross purchased by Cartier from Queen Eugenia Victoria of Spain in 1937. Dubbed ‘The Andean Cross’ it had previously belonged to Queen Isabel II of Spain and Empress Eugenie of France, and Cartier matched another 100 carats of emerald to create the necklace. Sadly the cross is no longer there and the original necklace was shortened to create a matching pair of earrings, which are also being offered (Lot 214 and Lot 215). The third piece is a 32.65-carat cushion-shaped white diamond ring by Chaumet (Lot 213).

Cartier emerald and diamond necklace circa 1937 once owned by Simón Itturi Patiño.

Cartier emerald and diamond necklace circa 1937 once owned by Simón Itturi Patiño.

The matching earrings taken from the above necklace.

The matching earrings taken from the above necklace.

More exceptional emeralds are being offered that were once owned by HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt (1923-1994). One is an emerald drop necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels (and is featured on the cover of the auction catalog) and the other is a Cartier sautoir-style beauty (Lot 209 and Lot 254).

A Van Cleef & Arpels emerald and diamond necklace circa 1929 once owned by HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt.

A Van Cleef & Arpels emerald and diamond necklace circa 1929 once owned by HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt.

Cartier emerald and diamond necklace circa 1926 previously owned by HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt.

Cartier emerald and diamond necklace circa 1926 previously owned by HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt.

And finally, a last emerald piece to whet your appetite.

JAR emerald, diamond, peridot, garnet, citrine and zircon brooch featuring a  11.96-carat center emerald circa 1989. (Lot 212)

JAR emerald, diamond, peridot, garnet, citrine and zircon brooch featuring a 11.96-carat center emerald circa 1989. (Lot 212)

The sale will be held in two sessions at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, the first at 2:00pm (Lots 1-163) and then 7:00pm (Lots 164-286).

2012 Auction Round-Up

The uncertain economic climate of 2012 did little to slow down jewelry auctions this year with records being set across the board.

At Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on November 13, the showpiece item was the Archduke Joseph Diamond, which set the world auction record for a colorless diamond (US$21,500,000) and for price per carat of a colorless diamond (US$280,000).

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

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