Understanding Jewellery at Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale | 9-13 November 2022

Understanding Jewellery is delighted to have been invited to join the Vetting Committee for the forthcoming, inaugural Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale event taking place at the Carrousel du Louvre from 9-13 November.

In February this year two renowned French art fairs, the Biennale, one of the world’s oldest art events, previously known as La Biennale des Antiquaires, joined with the flourishing Fine Arts Paris to create Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale – a celebration of art from Antiquity to the present day. Fourteen individual categories, one of which of course is jewellery, will be represented in Paris this November through the particpation of eighty six international galleries and dealers.

From an interesting selection of vintage jewellery, two pieces caught our attention: a diamond and emerald bracelet by Suzanne Belperron, 1935, and a pair of scarab or beetle brooches, Cartier, circa 1946.

Diamond and emerald bangle, Suzanne Belperron, 1935 | Image: Courtesy Larengregor

At the time Suzanne Belperron created her stunning cuff bracelet she had been working with Bernard Herz for three or so years, having left the firm of René Boivin in February 1932, she was becoming established as a major figure in the artistic world of France and overseas and her jewels were increasingly in demand. The central motif of the bracelet is a stylised flower, possibly a camellia, one of Belperron’s favourites, at the heart of which sits an impressive cabochon emerald. Created in platinum, this extravagant, highly decorative cuff would sit lightly on the wrist.

Beetle brooches, Cartier, circa 1946 | Image: Courtesy Larengregor

The scarab beetle has appeared in art and jewellery ever since it was adopted as a symbol of good fortune, hope and regeneration by the ancient Egyptian civilisation. Originally fashioned in stone, over time turquoise, amethyst, lapis lazuli and precious stones were used to recreate the industrious scarab. Aside from its emblematic qualities the form of the beetle with its distinctive wing covers (elytra) is perfect for the display of rich materials, in this case, lapis lazuli and coral, with gold and black lacquer for the thorax, and turquoise – perennially popular and never out of fashion. We find these brooches both charming and irresistible.

Left: Dolphin ring in red gold | Right: Elephant ring in red gold
Images: Courtesy Walid Akkad

We are also intrigued by the work of Walid Akkad – Bestiaire is his collection of rings in red gold, twenty one pared down designs of animals, birds and insects, in limited editions of thirty each. Akkad focuses on silhouettes and key features to represent the horse, crocodile and elephant, along with the butterfly, snake and octopus, to name just a few creatures from his exquisite menagerie. The rings are also miniature sculptures, they can be displayed on their base when not being worn. The collection is accompanied by a book, also titled Bestiaire, in which the development of Akkad’s creations is traced; it will be released simultaneously with the presentation of his collection of rings at the fair.

Mouse ring in red gold | Image: Courtesy Walid Akkad

Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale | 9-13 November 2022 | Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

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