Ahead of the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on the 16 November, we take a look back at Jean d’Ormesson's description of the work of celebrated designer Jean Schlumberger. Several key pieces are offered from the collection of a distiguished European family – making an exciting edition to this already remarkable sale.
YELLOW SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BROOCH, SCHLUMBERGER FOR TIFFANY & CO., 1973. ESTIMATE 60,000—98,000 CHF
''The word of Schlumberger is situated at the point where dreams, nature and history meet. Nothing could be further removed from fashion than Schlumberger's objects. Heedless of elegance or a dangerously slick chic, they proceed directly from desire to beauty. They feed upon architecture, and fauna, and flora, and illuminated manuscripts and distant memories of places and periods – the tropics or the Middle Age. But very soon they free themselves from anecdote and allusion to exist in their own right. I see Schlumberger as closer to a choreographer, a botanist, even a psychoanalyst than a fashionable jeweller, attracted by bestiaries and palimpsests rather than by catalogues.
PAIR OF DIAMOND EAR CLIPS, SCHLUMBERGER FOR TIFFANY & CO., CIRCA 1960. ESTIMATE 20,000—30,000 CHF.
There is a nobility in Schlumberger’s work; and, despite the gold and precious stones, it is a nobility which is intellectual rather than physical. He makes use of nature, but somewhat against nature itself; he uses its shifts and turns, but in order to control them. He disregards recreation to the benefit of creation and re-creation... Schlumberger’s objects pass from the realm of history, whether natural or mythical, into the realm of beauty. This beauty is rarity, precision, balance, choice. It is also discipline, patience, truth, poetry.
GEM SET AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, 'JASMIN', JEAN SCHLUMBERGER, 1973. ESTIMATE 98,000—198,000 CHF.
Schlumberger's objects, so harmonious, so tangible, are not positioned in space alone; they seem to rise before us from a world of will and idea. Because they have chosen art as against fashion, because they are the fruit of reflection and slow ripening, Schlumberger’s objects have time on their side. They will be as beautiful tomorrow as they are today''; Jean d'Ormesson, in Jean Schlumberger, Milan, 1994, pg. 13.
The important collection from a distinguished European family is a testimony to the taste and style of the 1960s and 1970s. This spectacular array of jewels comports several pieces from the master jeweller Schlumberger and is a tribute to his craftsmanship and ingenuity.
MAIN IMAGE: GEM SET AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, 'JASMIN', JEAN SCHLUMBERGER, 1973. ESTIMATE 98,000—198,000 CHF.