Have you ever considered jewellery as sculpture? A few of the pieces in our upcoming Fine Jewels sale on 6 June in London are indeed that, wearable works of art. These jewels demonstrate the designer/jeweller’s artistic, sculptural and personal approach to fashioning metal.
DIAMOND PARURE, GIANMARIA BUCCELLATI. ESTIMATE £30,000–40,000.
Gianmaria Buccellati’s diamond parure is a wonderful example of how he has taken the theme of flora and fauna and transformed it into a wearable and multi-functional piece of jewellery, which can be worn as a necklace, or broken down into a necklace, ear clips and brooch. We love nothing more than a versatile jewel! In this lot, the metal work has been engraved delicately to showcase the veins on the leaves, with each leaf and flower petal given a surface texture similar to that found on a real plant. Nature and art are intrinsically combined and celebrated in a stylised form.
BANGLE AND GEM SET RING, HEMMERLE, ESTIMATE £4,000–6,000.
Our Hemmerle brushed metal bangle is a wonderful example of how subtle alterations to the surface of metal can transform a piece. When the metal is finished in this brushed manner it is far less showy than if it has been left polished. The cleverly hidden ‘twist’ opening clasp allows the wearer to slip their wrist effortlessly into this smooth metal, adding instantaneous glamour to a highly functional, practical and comfortable form.
PARURE, ALICIA PENALBA, 1950S, ESTIMATE £6,000–8,000.
The parure by Alicia Penalba from the 1950s truly exudes a sculptural approach to jewellery. Her design is both organic and has an almost origami or fabric feel to it with the folds of the metal. Penalba was also a sculptress/painter and this form of education is evident in jewels such as this where gold is shown to its best advantage, with the light catching the metal from different aspects, casting shadows and creating intense contrasts.
BROOCH, 'SPILLA RETTANGOLARE', ARNALDO POMODORO, 1970S, ESTIMATE £4,000–5,000.
Arnaldo Pomodoro’s sculptural brooch Spilla rettangolare from the 1970s, showcases ideas in transition, as the worked metal appears to be trying to break free from the constraints of the rectangular plaque. The squared off brooch retains a certain amount of structure, seen in the grid-like motif and raised geometric forms running down the centre, however the motifs appear to want to extrapolate and move beyond the realms and confines of the brooch. The brooch works as a small piece of wearable art work, referencing Pomodoro’s larger sculptures such as Sfera con Sfera and Forme del Mito.
Tactility and versatility are paramount in all the above jewels through their ability to function as jewellery, art and in some instances sculpture. Using only the colours available to them in the metal, these jewellers and designers explore a range of different techniques and textures to showcase the art of metalwork to its full advantage.
These jewels and other sculptural pieces are available as part of our Fine Jewels London auction on 6 June. They will be on view in London from 2–5 June.