Eliane Fattal is a bit of an alchemist. From turning Art Deco hair combs into luxurious modern earrings to repurposing 19th century diamonds butterflies into a glamorous new necklace, Fattal transforms and sculpts antique jewels to breathe new life into them and reveal their timeless beauty and significance to a contemporary audience.
Next month, the artist-jeweller will present eight pieces created in close collaboration with Sotheby’s Diamonds, in a selling-exhibition that will take place during Sotheby’s Old Masters Week in London from 30 November until 5 December 2018.
Each piece is based on 19th or 20th-century jewels re-imagined to seamlessly incorporate beautiful rare diamonds. The results are modern and playful pieces of high jewellery, marrying the flawless craftsmanship of past masters, the impeccable savoir-faire of today’s best diamond cutters and the matchless vision of an artist. The designs are also highly wearable and versatile: as in many of Fattal’s signature pieces, they can be taken apart to create different looks.
Highlights include the Lucky Charm earrings which were formerly worn as hair comb tops, but are now a stunning pair of early Art Deco diamond pavé set and onyx horseshoe earrings, mounted in platinum and adorned with a detachable square emerald cut diamond, respectively weighing 14.26 and 14.18 carats.
Beyond their pure aesthetic and quality, all of Fattal's jewels are intellectual conversation pieces. Like the Old Master paintings which will provide the inspired background for the exhibition, they are steeped in history and imbued with symbolism. For example, Fattal's Wild At Heart ring features a 19th century wild rose flower head in full bloom, symbolic of love and adoration, with five pavé set heart-shaped petals, each with a pear-shaped diamond, centered on a 5.53 carat cushion modified brilliant cut yellow diamond. Mounted as a ring on a naturalistic twisted diamond stem, the rose was the emblem of Queen Elizabeth I, and is also reminiscent of the popularity of botanical themes in the early 19th century.
Ahead of the exhibition, Fattal commented: “I am truly honoured to have this opportunity to bring together two such extraordinarily unique elements to create pieces of wearable art. I believe that combining a piece of history re-imagined, with a beautiful stone is the answer to the changes in the way the modern woman wishes to be perceived in today’s world. Discreet yet noticeable, intelligent yet whimsical, and most importantly telling a wonderful story, the pieces are made to be worn in a relaxed and informal manner and not be kept in the safe only for formal occasions.”
Her aesthetic is demonstrated by her Butterflies necklace which takes a pair of 19th century diamond butterflies with demantoid garnet accents, mounted in platinum and gold and carrying two pear-shaped white diamonds, respectively weighing 5.17 carats and 3.09 carats, and re-imagines them in a modern pavé set diamond necklace. The symbol of the butterfly, and its metamorphic life cycle, illustrates Fattal's transformative approach to jewelery perfectly.
Patti Wong, Founder and Chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds, said: “Eliane and I have in common a longstanding appreciation of vintage jewels and a fervent desire to communicate our passion so when the idea of a collaboration came along, I was delighted. For us, diamonds are the masterpieces, always at the heart of the composition. Eliane managed to create the perfect setting for them and, by doing so, magically infuse masterpieces of the past with new light and life.”
Discover pieces from Eliane Fattal x Sotheby’s latest collaboration on view 30–13 December at Sotheby’s
34–35 New Bond Street
London W1A 2AA