The Jewellery Talents of Today showcase opens today at Christie’s Paris, featuring five exceptional independent jewelry designers, as part of the Joaillerie Paris Online sale. Presented with Paris jewelry gallery Second Petale, Aida Bergsen, Mashandy by Philippe Guilhem, Gaëlle Khouri, Jose Marin, and Salima Thakker will all be showing recent work, alongside vintage jewels from heritage houses like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.
Second Petale founder Arina Pouzoullic approached Christie’s with the idea for a contemporary jewelry art showcase during the pandemic and the first event in June 2021 brought together Sarah Ho, Kayo Saito, Ulla and Martin Kaufman, Tomasz Donocik and Chiara Passoni. It was followed by a second edition in November 2021, showcasing jewels by BARE by Dries Criel, Luz Camino, MAD Joaillerie, Marie Mas, Rosior and Walid Akkad. Each time, the selection has been characterized by a mix of established and emerging international designers.
“Each piece is selected because it creates an emotional response that goes beyond a transaction,” says Arina. The edit is about authenticity of vision, excellent craftsmanship and a certain universality; jewelry that is not only timeless, but that resonates across generational and geographical boundaries. Most importantly, the curation contributes to a shift towards independent design in the art jewelry world that is gathering momentum. “Christie’s believes that the creativity of today will be the masterpieces of tomorrow,” says Emilie Grimonprez, Christie’s Paris Jewelry specialist.
For Christie’s, the partnership represents an opportunity to attract a new clientele with jewels by a diverse selection of contemporary designers; while the designers themselves can benefit from the visibility of a global art institution. “Jewellery Talents of Today moves the needle,” says Arina. “The value for the consumer lies in discovering and accessing rare finds, while the artists get endorsement and reinforcement on the global art market, and jewelry art is promoted which is a plus for the industry as a whole. All this contributes to the evolution of jewelry as an artistic discipline.”
The showcase runs alongside the sale of several private collections in the Joaillerie Paris online auction, including the personal collection of Art Deco jeweler Jean Fouquet and the modernist jewelry collection of June Newton, wife of photographer Helmut Newton. “Vintage jewellery will be particularly highlighted through strong pieces such as the diamond and ruby Zip necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels,” says Emilie, of the 293-lot sale featuring jewels spanning 1920s Art Deco to more recent 1980s and 1990s vintage. A spectacular articulated panther pendant, with emerald eyes by René Boivin is also expected to sell, for between $105,000 and $157,000.
They combine to form a glittering backdrop of vintage treasures that will provide the perfect foil for five stand-out pieces of contemporary jewelry art, selected by Second Petal. Below, Arina shares her thoughts on each of the featured artists.
Mashandy by Philippe Guilhem
“To me, Philippe creates fabulous, strong conversations between colored gems of exceptional quality and the ancestral metal of bronze. They are truly unique masterpieces, jewelry-sculptures.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Philippe Guilhem spotlights the contrast between radiant colored gemstones and the warmth of bronze, an ancient material rarely used in fine jewelry. The fourth generation of a family of jewelers based in the French Alps, in 2017 he launched Mashandy, which distills inspiration from primitive art, modernist sculpture and contemporary architecture into rings which evolve from large-scale sculptures to become wearable artworks on a smaller scale. He’s also a gem hunter and typically starts with the stone itself, working the bronze around it, using pure lines and shapes that feel instinctive. Lined with gold for comfort, the Goya ring features a 7.32 carat unheated spinel from Myanmar set in bronze, which will take on a unique patina from the wearer’s body over time.
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“I call her Wonderland Queen. Her design signature is elegant, honest, savvy. Her nature-inspired creations are full of magic, like wonderland inhabitants. I find her work empowering and elevating” – Arina Pouzoullic
Istanbul-based jewelry designer Aida Bergsen hails from a family of artists and began her creative career as a sculptor, a skill she applies to her jewelry work through the wax carvings from which her pieces are cast. Her modern, wearable works sits at the meeting point of jewelry design and sculpture, which she describes as a “communion of dreams”, producing naturalistic jewels that conjure up fairytale worlds and illustrate the fables of her homeland. Christie’s is showing the Hedera earrings, 18kt rose gold and diamond pavé transformable chandelier earrings, that can also be worn as ear jackets and a pendant.
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“As a titanium goldsmith, Jose Marin is the best of the best in his field internationally. A true and rare master of titanium, he treats this metal as a hero and an innovative material, resulting in colorful and sensual handcrafted jewelry, that’s truly one-of-a-kind.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Jose Marin began his goldsmithing education with the Valencian Jewellers’ Guild at the age of just 13, before opening his own workshop in 2016. He’s now a De Beers international Jewelry Award-winning goldsmith who draws inspiration from the Mediterranean to craft jewelry combining titanium with gold, silver and precious stones. Fascinated by color, he is one of the foremost jewelers using titanium and derivative metals today, and achieves a rich palette of tones using electrolytic anodizing. The Lava and Ice earrings showcase moonstones, pink sapphires and timascus, made by heating several sheets of titanium together, to bring out the different layers and form a pattern similar to woodgrain.
Guide price: $3,150 – $5,250
“Gaëlle stimulates intellectually and emotionally with her jewels, inviting us to rise above the contradictions. She is a philosopher, and I enjoy this unusual angle to jewelry a lot. Her works generously offers us the feeling that the wearer is connected to a mystery of the universe.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Lebanese jeweler Gaëlle Khouri creates jewels that stimulate reflection around the notion of beauty and how it is perceived. Gaëlle’s La Refraction earrings are part of the La Trahison de l’Objet collection, a sophisticated exploration of form as both a philosophical idea and aesthetic object, in 18kt gold set with white diamond pave and oval pink sapphires. “The earrings connect the intense physicality of the jewel to the intangible realm of thought,’ says Gaëlle. ‘It speaks of the beauty of abstraction, that resides in its power to convey emotions in a manner that is not directly representational. In my new collection I explore the process by which we experience and perceive concepts of beauty and our relationship to the objects in the world around us.”
Guide price: $8,400 – $12,600
“Salima’s work is eclectic, audacious and very modern. She refuses to set any kind of limits for herself, as this leads her to unexpected results and varied work. There is always an element of surprise, a detail, or innovative technique that characterizes her work.” – Arina Pouzoullic
Based in Antwerp, Belgium, at the heart of Europe’s diamond industry, Salima Thakker has been designing and making jewelry for over 20 years. “A hands-on approach and understanding how the materials will behave as I work them is a vital part of the process,” she told Christie’s. Presented as a set, the Grid rings in the Jewellery Talents of Today showcase are an evolution of a previous ring she made using pierced metal, which allows greater malleability. Eighteen-karat yellow gold and palladium white gold are accented with colorless diamonds, accentuating gentle curves that rise to an elegant point.
Guide price: $5,250 – $8,400
The Joaillerie Paris Online auction runs June 23 – July 7, pieces will be on view from July 2 at Christies’s Paris.