Founded in 1988, the European Fine Art Fair, known as TEFAF, is widely regarded as the premiere showcase for the very best from the worlds of art and design. Though the show is regularly held in Maastricht in the Netherlands, a New York edition was launched last year.
The exhibitors, whose wares range from Old Master paintings to 20th-century furnishings, are curated by a highly selective vetting committee that inspects and authenticates each item on display, ensuring that everything shown at TEFAF is truly spectacular. In addition to the aforementioned collectibles, TEFAF also includes an exclusive group of contemporary jewelry designers and estate jewelry dealers.
These museum-quality antiques and astonishing high jewelry pieces, rarely on public display, can all be seen and—even better—purchased at the next edition of TEFAF, taking place at New York’s Park Avenue Armory from October 28 through November 1. Whether you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind showstopper or just want to be awed by great design, TEFAF is a must for any jewelry lover. Read on for a sneak peek of the most exceptional jewels to be shown and the exhibitors that shouldn’t be missed.
Siegelson — STAND 79
Lee Siegelson is renowned for his collection of rare jewelry and objets, from Art Deco Cartier clocks to mid-century modern cuffs by Art Smith. One of his most recent acquisitions to be shown at TEFAF is this ruby, rose quartz, and enamel floral brooch created by Suzanne Belperron in 1936. At the time, this particular piece was featured in Harper’s Bazaar by the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who rhapsodized, “Why don’t you wear a marvelous cape of Jaeckel’s gray lemming fur and fasten it at the neck with a jeweled flower of pink quartz and rubies?” Wallis Simpson was later photographed wearing a similar Belperron brooch—commissioned for her by the Duke of Windsor—fastened at the neck just as Vreeland had suggested.
Wallace Chan — STAND 36
Chinese jeweler Wallace Chan is known for his poetic approach to design and technical virtuosity, including several patented methods of working with everything from jade to titanium. His intricate designs often draw on motifs from nature, resulting in whimsical, otherworldly works of art. These earrings, titled Wonders of Life, are meant to evoke a flower blossoming from a pinecone. Diamond briolette “roots” lead to a yellow-diamond-encrusted orb contained within rock crystal dotted with emeralds. Those are followed by a lush green bulb composed of tsavorite garnets set in purple titanium. Pink sapphires link the “stem” to a brilliant blossom of white diamonds.
Hemmerle — STAND 59
Munich-based Hemmerle has been revered for its innovative jewels since 1893. Today, the brand’s hallmark is an unconventional mix of materials, like pebbles and aluminum alongside the finest sapphires and spinels, rendered with a distinctly modern aesthetic. These earrings are a prime example of Hemmerle’s signature style. The natural veining of marble is highlighted by graphic lines of oxidized silver and white gold, and the dark metal is a nod to the Berlin iron jewelry Hemmerle created in the 19th century. Minimal and geometric, they’re like a Sol Lewitt for the ears.
Reza — STAND 11
Olivier Reza heads up the house founded by his father, Alexandre, in postwar Paris. Under Olivier’s helm, the brand’s Place Vendôme atelier turns out pieces that marry traditional haute joaillerie craftsmanship with contemporary edge. Exquisite gems are a constant throughout Reza’s collection, such as this bracelet’s 19.5 carats of unheated Burmese sapphire cabochons. The cabochon’s organic form is contrasted by the clean lines of emerald-cut diamonds—totaling 44.24 carats—alternating with smaller rows of brilliant-cut diamonds. The entire bracelet is fully articulated, lending it a fluidity that wraps the wrist like a piece of fabric.