Hello and welcome to our July edition of The Hancocks Journal.
This month we’ve got antique, vintage and modern jewels to add some serious style and sparkle to your summer wherever and however you’re spending it.
Now that the hot weather has begun in earnest, the bees and butterflies are busy frolicking in the garden and there are even a few dragonflies buzzing about. Our beautiful Victorian diamond dragonfly has been captured mid-flight and looks delightful pinned to a shoulder, lapel or even hat where it would appear to have alighted briefly before flying off again. Insects were hugely popular motifs in Victorian jewellery and specific meaning was attached to all of them with the dragonfly representing metamorphism and change.
Below we have a pair of elegant 1930s French clips that transform into a brooch, our newest diamond band ring which is set with French-cut diamonds and a brilliant bangle from VCA for those looking to take a walk on the wild side!
Finally, for anyone looking for some reading inspiration for their summer holiday may we recommend the memoir ‘The Happy Days of Summer’ by the jewellery designer Fulco di Verdura. Described by Cecil Beaton as having a “heart of gold and a tongue of quicksilver” he writes evocatively of his Sicilian childhood and adolescence in a bygone world that will leave you hankering for both a trip to Sicily as well as a time machine to travel back and glimpse a world now consigned to history.
We hope you enjoy this selection of recent acquisitions and Hancocks jewels. As ever, our full collection is available to view in our Burlington Arcade boutique and on our website and our Instagram page is updated daily, all links are at the end of this newsletter.
Diamond Double Clips/Brooch
Having previously fallen out of favour since their heyday during the 1920s and 30s, these double clips are becoming hugely popular once again. This is thanks to their versatility and the current fashion for wearing them on collars, cuffs, lapels, necklines, waistbands, wristbands and in the hair. Both men and women have been sporting them in a variety of ways on the red carpet recently, breathing new life into a vintage style. This particular brooch is packed with high-quality well-matched diamonds and transforms easily from clips to brooch. Made in France c.1935 they have an asymmetric three-dimensional form and a characteristic combination of diamond cuts. Click below to see it transformed into a single brooch.
French Cut Diamond Band Ring
Our deliciously chunky and tactile new gold band ring is fully set with French-cut diamonds weighing a total of 4.6cts. They’re channel set between domed ‘doughnut’ edges of 22ct yellow gold that has been given a soft, brushed satin finish. Perfectly smooth both inside and out it is incredibly comfortable to wear and offers something a little different to most of our eternity style rings, it’s one for those who like their classics with a contemporary twist. We can trace the origins of the French cut back to the 15th Century however it wasn’t until the 17th Century that it really became fashionable. Having found favour with European Royalty, the style became particularly popular in France and it is likely that this is where the name originated.
Jewel of the Month
Diamond and Onyx Panther Bangle 1976 by Van Cleef & Arpels
For July’s Jewel of the Month, we have chosen a vintage bangle which is guaranteed to add a touch of glamour to any look this summer.
Our director Guy notes: “This stylish bangle is quintessentially 1970s and calls to mind that periods love affair with all things animal print. Whilst the fashion and jewellery world had been using the distinctive patterns of leopard, zebra, tiger and panther amongst others for decades, the 1970s seemed to take things to new heights. It conjures images of formidable women such as Jackie Collins as well as pop icons like Debbie Harry and her famous leopard print catsuit.”
Described by Vever as “an exceptionally modest and truly talented artist” Louis Wièse assumed the running of his father Jules’ workshop in 1880.
Jules was widely regarded as one of the finest silver and goldsmiths of the 19th Century and his son sought to continue the exemplary reputation for fine craftsmanship that his father had earned over the previous forty years. Louis continued working in the same tradition, producing beautifully crafted goldwork (sometimes to his father’s designs) which explored the familiar themes of the Neo-Renaissance and Gothic imagination whilst also looking to religion and archaeology to inspire him.
Today, examples of Wièse jewellery can be found in major museums worldwide including the British Museum and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.