September 14 – 23, the great and the good of the rarified world of fine jewelry will come together in Paris’ Grand Palais for the 26th Biennale des Antiquaires antiques show, presided over by Karl Lagerfeld. It’s a very special event, made even more so as it only occurs once every two years, and sees the fine jewelry houses of the Place Vendôme present pieces. Boucheron, Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Chaumet, Dior, and Wallace Chan, the first Asian jewelry house to be invited, will all be at the show in September, and they gave the press a preview of some of the pieces from their fine jewelry collection that will be shown at the Biennale des Antiquaires.
The first and only Asian jewelry to be invited to the Biennale des Antiquaires, Wallace Chan draws on years spent working on Buddhist art, for pieces with strong symbolism. A former sculptor, turned cameo artist, the Hong Kong designer has created a collection of 50 pieces inspired by key animals from the Eastern philosophies, like a jadeite cicada brooch, or a scorpion necklace. The A Drop Into The Ocean necklace features diamonds, sapphires and a superb 379.21 carat aquamarine at its bright heart.
Photo: A Drop Into The Ocean necklace, set with a 379.21 carat aquamarine, diamonds and sapphires.
Boucheron’s L’Artisan du Rêve collection
For her first collection as head of design at Boucheron, Claire Choisne plundered the archives of the century-old house, to find elements that have marked the label’s history like snakes, crystal and transformable pieces. She came up with 10 small collections of pieces that come together to form the L’Artisan du Rêve collection, each of which echoes and archive piece. They include this snake necklace, with opal and quartz scales reproduced carefully through the meticulous work of Boucheron craftsmen.
Photo: Serpent Opalescent necklace, in diamonds, opals and quartz.
The 1932 collection, Chanel Joaillerie
Eighty years have gone by since Gabrielle Chanel’s 1930 fine jewelry collection, and for the Biennale des Antiquaires, the house revisits this collection featuring the symbols that were so dear to Mademoiselle Chanel. Here, a lion strides across a comet on a white and yellow gold diamond sautoir, or head piece.
Photo: Constellation du Lion necklace, in 18 carat white and yellow gold, with 159 baguette-cut diamonds, 878 brilliant-cut diamonds, 32 yellow diamonds, and quartz.
A regular at the Biennale des Antiquaires since 1964, Cartier has put together a spectacular collection for the 26th Biennale. Very few images have been released so far, but we know that the Tristan Auer-designed Cartier installation will include around 148 pieces of fine jewelry, as well as 12 precious objects from the Cartier Tradition line. We’re expecting some surprising pieces, like this pink kunzite cuff, with a concealed diamond watch.
Photo: Kunzite and diamond secret watch.
The Palais de la Chance collection, by Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels opens the doors of its Palais de la Chance for the Biennale, collecting different symbols, animals, and motifs to create pieces inspired by secular tradition around the world, in three different collections: La Bonne Etoile, La Nature Porte-Bonheur and Les Légendes de la Chance. Unicorns, ladybugs and four-leafed clover are represented with intensely colored stones, translating local customs and beliefs into a poetic world vision.
Photo: Lierre white gold, diamond, black spinelle and platinum necklace, set with 52 emeralds (93.12 carats).
The Couture Précieuse collection by Piaget
Invited to show at the Biennale for the first time in 2010, Piaget marks its second Biennale with the Couture Précieuse line. Inspired by the finesse of haute couture, diamonds are woven into lace-like structures along the edges of a white gold necklace. Amongst the 59 pieces of jewelry and 12 watches on show, many are inspired by the world of menswear – we spotted a pair of earrings, whose elliptical sapphires and rubies reminded us of military-style frogging.
Photo: Magnificent Adornments necklace in 18 carat white gold,18 rubellites, 370 brilliant-cut diamonds, and nine pear-cut diamond.
Harry Winston pays homage to the eternal diamond for the 26th Biennale, a signature of the label. As a river of diamonds on a supple bracelet, or striking on a ring, the gem is at its most exceptional set on the Wave necklace as a 60.14 carat stone. The label will also show 146.71 carat pear-cut sapphires and is preparing to unveil a new fine jewelry collection at the event, inspired by nature.
Photo: Wave necklace with 534 brilliant-cut diamonds and a single 60.14 carat pear-cut diamond, in a platinum setting.
The 12 Vendôme collection by Chaumet
In June, Chaumet drew on 1920 headdresses for its Joséphine Aigrette line, and for the upcoming Biennale des Antiquaires, egret feathers feature on a diamond tiara from the 12 Vendôme collection, and again on the Aigrette, alongside diamonds, tourmalines and tanzanites, with a white Ethiopian cabochon opal, straight from the Roaring Twenties.
Photo: Aigrette white gold diadem, with a white Ethiopian 40-carat opal cabochon, 250 diamonds, 34 blue tourmalines and 22 violet tanzanites.
Bulgari is set to present a new fine jewelry collection at September’s Biennale des Antiquaires, concentrating on emeralds and sapphires. The square and cushion-cut gemstones go up to 180.98 carats on a yellow gold, diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace, and the Serpenti design features strongly, with snake-like scales in pink gold covered in brilliant-cut diamonds.
Photo: white gold necklace with three emeralds, 12 brilliant-cut diamonds and trapezoid diamonds.