Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show

Left: Van Cleef et Arpels magnificent art deco diamond necklace. Formerly in the collection of the Egyptian royal family. $1,250,000 from Eric Originals & Antiques, 4 west 47th street, 212.819.9595.

Right: A superb emerald tassle necklace. The top is carved from one enormous emerald suspending emerald beads and briolette diamonds and a selection of amazing gemstone rings from Ashok Sancheti, whose jaipur family has created the finest emerald jewels for Indian royalty for many generations. The collection is made in New York under their strict supervision and unlike Indian jewels of today, is of much finer quality. Ashok Sancheti, 62 west 47th street, 212.391.4490. By Appointment.
A mid-summer weekend does not seem to be the time to go major jewelry shopping. However, the last weekend in July is when international jewelers converge on New York City to prepare for the upcoming Fall jewelry buying season.

The five-day New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show opened on Friday past at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, NYC 10011). This first-time show is open to both wholesale and retail customers which in this closely guarded industry is a first in New York. This pavilion location show is only part of a citywide wholesale jewelry extravaganza for jewelers and retailers to show and shop the latest designs and collections.

This weekend (plus yesterday and today, Tuesday) is the Bryant Park of the Jewelry and Watch world without the front row seats and paparazzi. It is also a time for serious, devoted, dedicated, savvy, bedecked, and beblinged buyers to bargain hunt.
Every generation of dealers has a few purists. Neil marrs is one of them. He rarely shows any pre war jewels (that's would be wwii). He specializes in rare Verdura, Andrew Grima, Seaman Schepps, Tiffany and David Webb. His taste is of the new generation and a must see for young collectors. I tried to photograph his pieces but they were literally being snapped up faster than my camera shutter clicked. However, i managed to take this one picture of some seaman schepps coral jewels before they were bought by a size 2 in white jeans.

If you want to feel young and get the new look, go to the laid back Neil Marrs, 10 W 47th Street, 917.603.7402.
Since I am an obsessive compulsive jewelry addict with no hope of medical treatment, I went on safari downtown to satisfy my jewelry cravings. This is where the jewelers shop and bargains in family jewels rapidly change hands until they reappear on Madison Avenue, Bond Street, and auction sales.

Dealers hide jewels in their safes only to bring them out and tempt favored clients. Huge quantities of estate diamonds, gold jewels are heaped onto trays for vultures to grab and for shrewd glamazons with delicate daughters to try on estate Verdura, Van Cleef, Schepps, Cartier, and oversized Webb treasures.

My discretion dictates that I cannot tell you whom I saw but from the top of the ladder, all the way down to the bottom rung the jewelers and estate buyers were there.

Last day today: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

— James de Vries