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Showstopping Gemstones Debut at Masterpiece London

Christina Garofalo

Of the 162 exhibitors at the fourth annual Masterpiece London art and antiques fair, held from June 27 through July 3 at the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the 23 presenters showing watches and jewelry might steal the show. This year it is all about playful designs composed of oversize gemstones, colored diamonds, and other rare materials from estate jewelers and designers alike.

A case in point: asymmetric pear-drop earrings with matching pear-shaped yellow and white diamonds (50.81 and 40.12 carats, respectively) from the Geneva-based jeweler Chatila; and a “kissing” diamond-and-sapphire ring by the Geneva-based designer Roberto Boghossian that features a 2.66-carat cushion-cut diamond set into a 15-carat Ceylon cushion-cut sapphire.

Montblancis making its Masterpiece debut witha one-off fountain pen fashioned from solid white gold and more than 600 channel-set diamonds and emeralds weighing in excess of 50 carats. When it comes to rare materials, the showpiece is a pair of crimson dinosaur-bone earrings from the German house Hemmerle, in which each minuscule cell is an individual agate.

For those with a penchant for vintage jewels, the London-based Hancocks is presenting a pair of wasp brooches by Hermès (1970), set with black onyx and yellow and white gold, and a René Lalique enamel butterfly brooch (1895) set with brilliant and rose-cut diamonds and with two cabochon rubies dotting the eyes.  Verdura, a returning participant, will offer items from its New York Style collection—a series of new pieces based on the jeweler’s most iconic archival designs. Among the collection are the Diana Byzantine cuffs, which feature an abstract pattern of gold, aquamarine, amethyst, and white enamel; they were inspired by the Maltese Cross cuffs that Verdura designed for Coco Chanel around 1930. Chanel’s original set of cuffs will be on exhibition as well.

Outside of jewelry, the show is an important resource for collectors of fine art, antique furniture, and vintage cars. (www.masterpiecefair.com)

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Copyright by Julian Lee Studio
Photo courtesy of The Forbes Collection, New York