In the world of fine jewellery, some names stand out for their historic associations, superlative quality, and innovative designs. Let’s take a look at some master jewellers that are especially celebrated for the beauty and rarity of their creations.
Highly collectable and much sought after by jewellery enthusiasts are the iconic Panther and Tutti Frutti pieces by Cartier. Both collections exude luxury, elegance, and strength. Inspired by Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s artistic director from 1933 – 1970, the panther was a favourite of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, among others.
Bursting with colour, the Tutti Frutti designs provided a welcome step away from the monochromatic styles that dominated the Art Deco period, offering a perfect example of East meets West with its carved gemstones and European technical mastery. Though the iconic style was created in 1901 by Pierre Cartier and remained popular well into the 1920s, it was not until the 1970s that the style became known as Tutti Frutti.
The name Bulgari is synonymous with 1960s Italian glamour and famous for colourful gemstone jewellery. No jewellery collection would be complete without a Bulgari Serpenti bracelet. Bulgari was founded in 1884 by Sotirios Voulgaris, a man of Greek heritage who lived in Rome, and the influence of Greek and Roman mythology and culture can be seen in all Bulgari designs. The serpent has become synonymous with the brand, and represents wisdom, vitality, and seduction.
Displaying fabulous colours and extraordinary designs, David Webb’s animal motif bracelets are highly desirable, and emblematic of the brand. One of the most significant American jewellers, Webb created pieces featuring much of the animal kingdom; including: frogs, zebras, monkeys, giraffes, and elephants.
Self-taught, Andrew Grima let his imagination run wild with his conversation starter pieces. Unquestionably one of the greatest jewellery designers of the 20th century, Grima’s organic, fantastical yet wearable designs have inspired many. He was a champion of unusual and rough (non-faceted) stones and used diamonds to accentuate bold pieces rather than take the spotlight.
Albeit recognisable, Belperron is tricky to collect as she never signed her work and you will have to compete with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, who owned one of the largest Belperron collections. Belperron worked for Maison René Boivin, under the founder’s widow, Jeanne Boivin, until 1932, when she left to become the Artistic and Technical Director of the Maison Bernard Herz. Her creations reveal her deep appreciation and fondness for nature, containing motifs from a range of cultures; African, Cambodian, Celtic, Egyptian, and Indian, and typically combine precious stones with hammered gold. Her famous following included The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Daisy Fellowes, and Fred Astaire.
TROY MCKENZIE / Queensland Representative Specialist
Banner Image: Bulgari diamond and multi-gem ‘Allegra’ bracelet $7,000-10,000