The Talents Joailliers d’Aujourd’hui showcase opens today at Christie’s Paris, featuring five exceptional independent jewelry designers, as part of the Joaillerie Paris online sale. Presented with Parisian jewelry gallery Second Petale, Aida Bergsen, Mashandy by Philippe Guilhem, Gaëlle Khouri, Jose Marin and Salima Thakker will all showcase recent work, alongside vintage jewelry from heritage houses like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.
Second Petale founder Arina Pouzoullic approached Christie’s with the idea of a contemporary jewelry art showcase during the pandemic and the first event in June 2021 featured Sarah Ho, Kayo Saito, Ulla and Martin Kaufman, Tomasz Donocik and Chiara Passoni. It was followed by a second edition in November 2021, featuring BARE jewelry by Dries Criel, Luz Camino, MAD Joaillerie, Marie Mas, Rosior and Walid Akkad. Each time, the selection has been characterized by a mix of established and emerging international designers.
“Each piece is selected because it creates an emotional response that goes beyond a transaction,” says Arina. The editing speaks of authenticity of vision, excellent craftsmanship and a certain universality; jewelry that is not only timeless, but resonates across generational and geographic boundaries. More importantly, curation is contributing to a shift towards independent design in the growing art jewelry world. “Christie’s believes that the creativity of today will be the masterpieces of tomorrow,” says Emilie Grimonprez, jewelry specialist at Christie’s Paris.
For Christie’s, this partnership represents an opportunity to attract a new clientele with jewelry by a diverse selection of contemporary designers; while the designers themselves can benefit from the visibility of a global artistic institution. “Jewellery Talents of Today moves the needle,” says Arina. “Consumer value lies in the discovery and access to rare finds, while artists gain approval and reinforcement in the global art market, and the art of jewelry is promoted, which which is a plus for the industry as a whole. All this contributes to the evolution of jewelry as an artistic discipline.”
The showcase is accompanied by the sale of several private collections in the Joaillerie Paris online auction, including the personal collection of Art Deco jeweler Jean Fouquet and the modernist jewelry collection of June Newton, wife of photographer Helmut Newton. “Vintage jewelery will be particularly highlighted through strong pieces such as the diamond and ruby Zip necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels”, specifies Emilie, about the sale of 293 lots presenting jewelery ranging from the Art Deco of the 1920 to newer vintage 1980s and 1990s. A spectacular articulated, emerald-eyed panther pendant by René Boivin is also expected to sell for between $105,000 and $157,000.
They combine to form a shimmering backdrop of vintage treasures that will provide the perfect foil for five pieces of remarkable contemporary jewelry art, curated by Second Petal. Below, Arina shares her thoughts on each of the featured artists.
Mashandy by Philippe Guilhem
“For me, Philippe creates strong and fabulous conversations between colored gems of exceptional quality and the ancestral metal that is bronze. They are truly unique masterpieces, jewelry-sculptures.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Philippe Guilhem highlights the contrast between brightly colored gemstones and the warmth of bronze, an ancient material rarely used in fine jewelry. The fourth generation of a family of jewelers based in the French Alps, in 2017 he launched Mashandy, which distills inspiration from primitive art, modernist sculpture and contemporary architecture into rings that evolve from sculpture to large scale to become portable works of art on a smaller scale. He is also a hunter of gemstones and usually starts with the stone itself, working the bronze around it, using pure lines and shapes that seem instinctive. Lined in gold for added comfort, the Goya ring features 7.32 carat unheated spinel from Myanmar set in bronze, which will take on a unique patina from the wearer’s body over time.
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“I call her Wonderland Queen. Her design signature is elegant, honest, savvy. Her nature-inspired designs are full of magic, like the people of Wonderland. I find her work empowering and uplifting” – Arina Pouzoullic
Istanbul-based jewelry designer Aida Bergsen comes from a family of artists and began her creative career as a sculptor, a skill she applies to her jewelry work through wax sculptures from from which its parts are cast. Her modern, wearable works sit at the intersection of jewelry design and sculpture, which she describes as a “communion of dreams”, producing naturalistic jewelry that evokes fairy tale worlds and illustrates the fables of his homeland. Christie’s presents the Hedera earrings, convertible chandelier earrings in 18k rose gold and paved with diamonds, which can also be worn as earmuffs and pendants.
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“As a titanium goldsmith, Jose Marin is the best of the best in his field internationally. A true and rare master of titanium, he treats this metal as a hero and an innovative material, resulting in colorful and sensual handcrafted jewelry , which are truly one-of-a-kind.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Jose Marin began training as a goldsmith with the Jewelers Guild of Valencia aged just 13, before opening his own workshop in 2016. He is now a De Beers International Jewelry Award-winning goldsmith who has inspired by the Mediterranean to create jewelry combining titanium with gold, silver and precious stones. Fascinated by color, he is today one of the greatest jewelers using titanium and derivative metals, and achieves a rich palette of tones thanks to electrolytic anodization. The Lava and Ice earrings feature moonstones, pink sapphires and timas, made by heating multiple sheets of titanium together, to bring out the different layers and form a pattern similar to wood grain.
Guide price: $3,150 – $5,250
“Gaëlle stimulates intellectually and emotionally with her jewelry, inviting us to go beyond contradictions. She is a philosopher, and I really appreciate this unusual angle of jewelry. Her works generously offer us the feeling that the wearer is connected to a mystery of the universe.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Lebanese jeweler Gaëlle Khouri creates jewelry that stimulates reflection around the notion of beauty and its perception. The La Refraction earrings by Gaëlle are part of the La Trahison de l’Objet collection, a sophisticated exploration of the shape that is both a philosophical idea and an aesthetic object, in 18 carat gold set with a pavé of white diamonds and oval pink sapphires. “Earrings connect the intense physicality of jewelry to the intangible realm of thought,” explains Gaëlle. “It speaks to the beauty of abstraction, which lies in its power to convey emotions in a way that is not directly representational. In my new collection, I explore the process by which we experience and perceive concepts of beauty and our relationship to objects in the world around us.
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“Salima’s work is eclectic, daring and very modern. She refuses to set limits, as this leads her to unexpected results and varied work. There is always an element of surprise, a detail or a technique innovative that characterizes her work.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Based in Antwerp, Belgium, the heart of the European diamond industry, Salima Thakker has been designing and manufacturing jewelery for over 20 years. “A hands-on approach and understanding of how materials behave when I work with them is an essential part of the process,” she told Christie’s. Presented as a set, the Grid rings from the Talents of Today Jewelery showcase are an evolution of a previous ring that she made in openwork metal, which allows greater malleability. 18k yellow gold and palladium-plated white gold are accented with colorless diamonds, accentuating the soft curves that rise to an elegant point.
Guide price: $5,250 – $8,400
The Jewelery Paris Online auction from June 23 to July 7, the pieces will be exhibited from July 2 at Christies’s Paris.