Flora & Fauna: Fine Jewels | Geneva
Online Auction: 19 August–2 September 2021 • 10:00 AM CEST • Geneva

Flora & Fauna: Fine Jewels 19 August–2 September 2021 • 10:00 AM CEST • Geneva

T his capsule sale concentrates on depicting the essence of the world we live in through the medium of jewellery. The natural world has long been a source of inspiration for jewellers, who have been captivated by the beauty of gemstones and precious metals. In our Flora & Fauna capsule sale, we bring together examples of this influence.

The capsule sale includes pieces from all periods, including items crafted by some of the most renowned jewellery houses such as Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as contemporary jewellers such as James Ganh, among others.


For thousands of years, from ancient gold jewellery to the modern jewels of today, we have sought to capture the beauty of the natural world in our art and adornments. Artisans have turned to animals for inspiration and found in beautiful stones and rare metals the materials that may contain the mystery of their creation. Our fascination with wild creatures has expressed itself in stories and dreams — as deities and demons, fables and fantasies, loyal companions and wild enemies. These projections shape the way we understand our own natures, gesturing toward our origins and the evolution from nature to culture.

The impulse to assign symbolism to animals is linked to our awareness of what it means to be human, and this understanding connects art and cultures throughout history. Depictions of animals were projections of allegories, aesthetic muses or symbols of creation – reinforcing widely-held mythology or beliefs. These images of animals enable us to understand the relationships of humans and nature, with wild beasts as intermediaries.

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The beauty of the peacock or the music of a songbird, linger in our imaginations, and have become our projections of love, hope and freedom. Birds have been depicted in jewellery since ancient times, but their popularity had grown during the 19th century along with interest in birdwatching and ornithology in Europe and North America. In times of prosperity, parrots, kingfishers or peacocks would captivate us with their striking plumage, and we might borrow some of that splendour in our jewellery. The peacock is the mount of the lord Karthikeya, Hindu god of war, and has long been a popular design in jewellery not only for its dazzling colours, but also as a symbol of love and the arrival of spring.

Sea Creatures

Fish and other sea creatures, such as seahorses and jellyfish, have come to represent various abstract concepts across many cultures, from rebirth, purification, faith, abundance, harmony, and immortality. Sea turtles or tortoises are a playful symbol of longevity and bliss. Seashells and starfish have been favoured by many jewellery designers as they evoke the idea of endless summers and the leisurely days by the beach.


Appreciated for their beauty and mystery, beetles and butterflies are tiny wonders of the natural world. In jewellery it is the way gemstones catch the light in a moment suggests that same ephemerality.

Jewels by Michele della Valle

Discover a unique collection of jewels by renowned jeweller Michele della Valle showcasing Michele’s signature style, drawing inspiration from the natural world, and incorporating both classic and unconventional gemstones to create dramatic, unique visions in a kaleidoscope of colour.

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