The Timeless Allure of Animalia in Jewellery

David Webb Ruby, Diamond and Enamel Brooch | $18,000-24,000

Themes of animalia in jewellery have long captured the hearts of collectors, offering a unique way to express one’s love for animals, ignite conversations, and highlight personal style. These captivating pieces, often made with exceptional craftsmanship and exquisite materials and hold a timeless appeal that transcends generations. When delving into the world of building a collection, the key is to choose pieces that are well-made, resonate with your style, and evoke sentimental memories.

Expressing Love for Animals

For individuals, collecting is a heartfelt expression of their love for the natural world. The choice of animals can range from the majestic to the whimsical, reflecting the collector’s appreciation for wildlife. These creations provide a tangible connection to the animal kingdom, allowing enthusiasts to carry a piece of nature with them wherever they go.

Cartier a Dazzling 18ct Gold, Diamond and Emerald ‘Panthère De Cartier’ Pendant/Brooch, Circa 1985 | $80,000-120,000

Quality and Craftsmanship

When building your collection, quality and craftsmanship should be paramount. Choose pieces that are expertly made with attention to detail. Well-crafted pieces are more likely to withstand the test of time and become cherished heirlooms. Whether adorned with precious gemstones or intricate enamel work, these items of adornment are no longer jewellery but become wearable works of art.

Finding Your Personal Style

Animal motifs are a versatile addition to any wardrobe, allowing you to express your personal style in a unique and eye-catching way. These pieces can be worn with a variety of clothing and accessories, adding a touch of personality to any outfit. To start your collection, consider choosing a theme that resonates with you. Whether you adore all animals or are drawn to the places they inhabit (think sky, land, or sea) having a theme in mind will help you focus your collection and create a cohesive look.

Tiffany & Co. 18ct Gold ‘Alpaca’ Animal Brooch | $10,000-15,000

Sentimental Treasures and Investment Potential

Collectors often seek pieces that remind them of special moments or experiences. For example, someone might collect brooches featuring their favourite animals from childhood or those associated with memorable trips. These brooches can evoke nostalgia and serve as a tangible connection to cherished memories.

Rare and unique pieces in the world of animal-themed jewellery can appreciate in value. Renowned jewellery brands like Cartier have produced iconic animal-themed jewellery collections that are highly sought after. Cartier’s ‘La Panthère’ jewel, commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, featuring the legendary panther motif, is a testament to the enduring allure of animalia in jewellery. Crafted in gold and enamel and adorned with an emerald cabochon, it remains one of Cartier’s most cherished designs.

American jewellery designer David Webb is celebrated for his distinctive creations, often featuring intricate workmanship and a deep affection for animal motifs. Among his most popular and sought-after pieces are the whimsical designs. These delightful pieces feature vibrant enamel work, creating lifelike depictions of frogs, zebras and turtles with gemstones for eyes and other embellishments, Webb’s pieces infuse a playful and charming touch into any collection.

LAUREN BOUSTRIDGE, Senior Jewels Specialist

Banner Image: A selection of animal jewellery pieces.

November 2023