High Jewellery on Bond Street
Sotheby’s sparkling new venture—Sotheby’s Diamonds—is turning heads with its exquisite designs and craftsmanship.
By Annalisa D’Alessio
‘At Sotheby’s Diamonds, the diamond itself is the muse, theme and inspiration. Each jewel starts with the stone, each concept and design revolves around a particular diamond, which becomes its central theme, its hero and shining light. They are prized artworks in their own right’
In the last few decades, the jewellery industry has experienced a surge in creativity and innovation not seen since the Belle Époque. A dramatic growth in demand for bespoke pieces, increase in interest in rare and vividly coloured stones and the advances in manufacturing technology are only a few of the factors behind this explosion that allowed a new generation of designers and artistic jewellers to burgeon. Sotheby’s—one of the world’s most renowned dealers of decorative art, real estate, jewellery and collectables—has recently expanded beyond its traditional auction business with a sparkling new division. This comes a century after it opened its doors in London’s iconic Bond Street. Sotheby’s Diamonds, a pioneering new venture, presents unique and precious high jewellery. These modern paragons are the result of the most desirable diamonds, cutting-edge design and remarkable craftsmanship—their aesthetic is linear, architectural and contemporary but with poetry and sensuality.
Each creation is inspired by the auction house’s expertise: from art, architecture and sculpture to nobility, great women of style and—of course—the diamond itself. Every masterful piece and collection flawlessly showcases the magnificence of diamonds. The opening of Sotheby’s Diamonds’ new London Salon in Bond Street was celebrated with the commission of a set of photographs by renowned photographer Erik Madigan Heck. In his pictures, Heck—who is a regular contributor to magazines like The New York Times, Vanity Fair, TIME and Harper’s Bazaar—captured the essence of art’s great masters, showcasing the opulence and elegance of the jewels.
Design and craftsmanship
As is common in high jewellery, Sotheby’s Diamonds begins creating its sparkling masterpieces with a hand-drawn sketch; a form of art in its own right. The vision of the gouache—the final hand-painted design of the jeweller—is a time-honoured tradition of high jewellery, still practiced by other prestigious brands such as Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels. As technology marches forward, these artefacts created with uniqueness and personality will continue to capture the hearts of discerning buyers.
Sotheby’s Diamonds jewels are made by hand by highly skilled experts, dedicated to achieving unrivalled finesse and refinement of exquisite details, including meticulous pavée setting, reverse setting and immaculately calibrated stones. The lightness of settings and silhouettes are made possible with the latest technological advancements and innovations. This type of high jewellery proudly combines new high-tech processes with age-old artisanal craft skills—a merry combination that makes Sotheby’s Diamonds jewels a true success. Sotheby’s as an SEC-listed company, is required to conduct enquiries into its supply chain—all their jewels are created with diamonds purchased from legitimate sources that bare no involvement with funding of conflict and in keeping with current United Nations parameters and resolutions.
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