René Boivin founded the House of Boivin in the 1890s. Establishing himself under his own name gave him the freedom to push the limits on conventional ideas of jewellery, embracing semi-precious stones over precious and setting them in adventurous new forms.
After Boivin’s death in 1917, his wife Jeanne continued his name and designs into the 20th century. It was under Jeanne’s tutelage that another iconic jeweller, Suzanne Belperron, was encouraged to follow and develop her own distinctive style. During Belperron’s time at the House of Boivin, she sustained his daring aesthetics and imaginative use of stones and colours. Later, under her own name, Belperron created jewels influenced by her time at Boivin, where her style became her signature.
AQUAMARINE AND DIAMOND BRACELET (1937), RENÉ BOIVIN. ESTIMATE £100,000–200,000.
One European collection being offered in the Fine Jewels sale on 1 December affords a rare glimpse into the House of Boivin’s unique approach to jewellery. A stunning aquamarine and diamond bangle fuses semi-precious aquamarines into a wholly modernistic and refreshingly bold style. The bangle is visually and stylistically adventurous considering its creation in 1937, just before World War Two.
In the ‘Pampilles’ ring from the 1970s, kaleidoscopic colours are seen in the facetted citrines and aquamarines, as the fringe playfully jingles on your hand. Certainly this ring would be a conversation starter when worn at any cocktail party.
CITRINE AND AQUAMARINE RING, ‘PAMPILLES’, RENÉ BOIVIN, CIRCA 1970. ESTIMATE £8,000-12,000.
On Boivin’s ‘Elephant’ pendant from 1939 the play-of-colour in the selection of opals adds to the charm of this fanciful jewel. Such pieces reflect the shift in style during the 20th century; women’s hair was cut shorter, hemlines were raised. Times were changing socially and jewellery was becoming bolder and more daring.
OPAL, SAPPHIRE, RUBY AND DIAMOND PENDENT NECKLACE, ‘ELEPHANT’, RENÉ BOIVIN, 1939. ESTIMATE £33,000-38,000.