Friday, October 5, 2007

Granny's Tasteful Old Gold

PRIMAVERA GALLERY: Cartier Paris triple bow knot gold and diamond bangle, 1950s.
By James de Vries (jewelry consultant)

The International Art + Design Fair opens to the public October 5th. Arranged by the Haughtons, this show always aims to  push the envelope on Modern Art and Design. My duty for NYSD is to report on jewelry and make it easy and enjoyable for the reader. And so, the choices I make reflect my own point of view. 

Previewing the offerings of individual exhibitors and deciding where the balance in jewelry design lies — whether old or new — is purely subjective. Time is the ultimate judge of good and bad taste and we will not be around long enough to see the verdict. We can all get dizzy walking around a show at the Armory and in doing so,  I would like to have a drink in one hand and an oxygen tank in the other. 

Primavera Gallery, an exhibitor at the show, recently moved after decades on Madison Avenue to Chelsea. I’ve known the founder, Audrey Friedman since 1976. We are friends because we share a mutual respect for each other’s constant unerring level of love for good design. What was considered bad taste in some areas of jewelry design for the last 30 years is now recognized as good. Her taste evolves with time and is uninfluenced by fads or hype.
PRIMAVERA GALLERY: Verdura gold and diamond knot necklace, c. 1938.
Primavera Gallery’s collection has a well researched style that personifies the owner’s knowledge and flair for accumulating collections for museums. To prove her stance on jewelry design, they have very cleverly planned an exhibition to be held in their new gallery next month called  ‘Not Your Mother’s Jewelry’. That’s style AND taste.

SOTHEBY'S: Cartier gold emerald flower parure, c.1938.
I’ve chosen from Primavera Gallery, a Cartier Paris 1950s triple bow knot bangle of gold and diamonds. The bows are detachable and may be worn wherever you wish. Your personal style will decree the places where you pin them.

One more jewel is an original period 1940s  Verdura gold and diamond knot necklace. Audrey has been collecting rare estate Verdura jewels with great foresight for many years. Friedman is an expert nurturer and developer of great private collections. Consider her the source.

In keeping with this theme of recently  acclaimed appreciation for the old, I found this astounding gold, emerald and diamond flower set coming up at Sotheby’s N.Y. October 17th. The bangle is signed Cartier and I’m sure was made in the late 1930s.

On December 4th, they will be selling a van Cleef et Arpels 1949, gold lace diamond-studded bracelet watch, formerly the property of Grace Kelly pre-marriage to Prince Rainier.

If you’re fortunate to have a nurturing Grandmother, I think it’s time you ask her out for the day. Perhaps a luncheon close by to her safe deposit bank would be a great idea?
SOTHEBY'S: van Cleef & Arpels gold lace diamond-studded bracelet watch c.1949, formerly the property of Grace Kelly pre-marriage to Prince Rainier.