Masterpiece London 2019

The fabulous fair bringing together some of the finest works of art and design under the name Masterpiece ended yesterday. Hosted in the historic premises of Royal Chelsea Hospital, the fair brought together more than 150 international exhibitors showcasing amazing pieces such as paintings, sculptures, furniture items, textiles and let’s not forget the very reason I was there -jewellery.

The jewels on show were museum-worthy starting with the antiques and going all the way to cutting edge gem set objects of adornment. The first stand I came across was that of  Wartski, antique dealers specialising in works by Carl Fabergé, but also displaying a beautiful collection of pieces by Falize brothers (my favourite pieces of their stock), Boivin, Boucheron, Wiese. Another notable presence at the fair was Bentley and Skinner with an exquisite collection of jewellery from all ages, however their selection of Art Nouveau jewellery is to die for. They have an amazing range of plique-au-jour enameled necklaces with a couple of pieces by René Lalique himself. Notable inventories are to be admired at Sarah Cronan with lovely large aquamarine cocktail pieces and a Fouquet Art Deco brooch that was their show stopper and also at S.J Phillips who stock gorgeous tiaras and Art Deco bracelets among many other goodies.

With the comeback of the 70s style in jewellery, Andrew Grima‘s fabulous jewellery stands out of the crowd with their statement pieces in textured gold and bold gemstones.

After admiring Boghossian’s creative stand design, and Salini’s daring pieces crafted from carbon and bold gemstones, I succumbed to the world of Cindy Chao. Her pieces are a wonder of craft and design, taking around two years each to complete. Chao’s world is filled with flowers, leaves and butterflies crafted from titanium and amazingly detailed. The fine, trembling titanium frames tremble under the weight of the multitude of gemstones set in. Juicy sapphires combined with coloured diamonds and tourmalines, rubies and diamonds, emeralds, alexandrites, tsavorite garnets and conch pearls. It’s as if the sublime of gemstone universe has metamorphosed into an effervescent work of art. Although I see a resemblance to some of Wallace Chan‘s pieces and some parallel can be drawn between the preference for titanium and the use of graduated-colour stones to instill movement into nature-inspired jewellery, Chao has already created a name for herself that is tough to match in terms of design and craftsmanship.



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