Hello and welcome to our July edition of The Hancocks Journal.
As the annual bout of Wimbledon fever grips the nation we’re excited to reveal this fabulous newly arrived diamond ‘Tennis’ necklace by Cartier.
Set in 18ct yellow gold with 119 graduated round brilliant cut diamonds weighing a total of 16.50cts, this is a truly classic and timeless piece of jewellery. The tennis necklace is an extension of the more widely known tennis bracelet, a single row of diamonds around the wrist but this time made for the neck. The coining of the term ‘tennis bracelet’ to describe this line of diamonds is attributed to the tennis star Chris Evert who regularly wore diamond jewellery on court. During a match in 1978, the diamond line bracelet she was wearing fell off and play had to be paused to allow her to look for it. Henceforth, the name ‘tennis bracelet’ became widely used to describe bracelets (and later necklaces) of this classic design.
Alongside this we have a beautifully elegant antique giardinetto pendant that can also be worn as a brooch and one of our newest rings set with a cut of diamond that has a particularly interesting history. This month sees the late, great Andrew Grima having his turn in the Maker Spotlight which allows us to share with you his fabulous cyclamen leaf earrings that we have for sale. Our Jewel of the Month meanwhile showcases the art of the goldsmith with a wonderful two-tone cuff by Mario Buccellati.
We hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and if you know someone who you think would find it interesting, do please forward it on. As ever, our full jewellery collection is available to view in our Burlington Arcade boutique and on our website whilst our Instagram page is regularly updated, all links are at the end of this newsletter.
This delightful platinum and multi-gem set giardinetto pendant/brooch dates from c.1910. Designed as an elegant tapering openwork basket with rope twist handle, it’s filled with a profusion of flowers and foliage set throughout with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. These are set in platinum, highlighted with gold and suspended from a ribbon loop tied in a bow. Beneath it all is an articulated single pear shape diamond drop which catches the light beautifully as it moves. The word giardinetto means ‘little garden’ in Italian and is used to describe jewels such as this with vases or baskets containing flowers. This is a wonderful example of its type, delicate and elegant with a lightness of touch and naturalistic feel.
Marquise Diamond Ring
According to legend, the marquise shape diamond was created for King Louis XV of France who wanted a diamond cut designed specifically to remind him of his mistresses’ lips. The Marquise de Pompadour, more commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, had the most beautifully shaped mouth he’d ever seen and he wanted it immortalised in diamond. The elegant marquise cut was born and the elongated curved shape with pointed ends would become an enduring symbol of love and romance. Our beautiful marquise diamond ring is set with a lovely old-cut marquise brilliant with very elegant proportions, weighing 1.78cts and of E colour and VS1 clarity set between pear shaped diamond shoulders in platinum.
Jewel of the Month
A Striking Two Tone Gold Cuff Bracelet by Buccellati
Our July Jewel of the Month is this fabulous vintage two-tone cuff bracelet by Mario Buccellati, c.1960s.
The wide cuff takes a bold asymmetric form and couples exceptional craftsmanship with the Italian love of glamour. One half is in yellow gold and the other in white, but both are fully engraved with the Maison’s familiar ‘rigato’ engraving. This particular engraving style features a pattern of many fine parallel lines, shallow engraved into the surface to create a wonderfully tactile finish with a soft sheen reminiscent of silk. The white gold side is offset against the yellow and overlaps it at the front in a pointed arrow shape, the end is heavily embellished with another engraving style, called ‘ornato’, which seeks to echo the patterns of Renaissance brocades and damasks.
The most distinguishing feature of Mario Buccellati’s jewellery was his gold work and he wanted to fully explore his long-held fascination with the metal and all that could be achieved with it. He researched age old techniques and experimented with antique-style tools in an effort to realise his design dreams.
Guy Burton, Managing Director, Hancocks London, comments: “This cuff is a very unusual design and it has a cool, contemporary vibe despite being around 60 years old. There is a simplicity to it that belies the incredible skill it takes to work gold in this way. “This is a design that we’ve never seen before so we were delighted to discover it and be able to offer it for sale, complete with its original dark blue leather and velvet box.”
For a man whose jewellery career began more by accident than by design, Andrew Grima would prove instrumental in changing the face of post-war British jewellery with his bold, audacious and innovative jewellery.
Grima joined his future father-in-law’s jewellery business, H.J.Company Ltd, in 1946 working in the accounts department. Two years later he witnessed the opening of a suitcase that was to prove life changing for him. He recalls, “two dealer brothers arrived at our office with a suitcase of large Brazilian stones – aquamarines, citrines, tourmalines and rough amethysts in quantities I had never seen before. I persuaded my father-in-law to buy the entire collection and I set to work designing. This was the beginning of my career.”
With no formal training in jewellery or design, Grima allowed his imagination to run free without any preconceived ideas of what was traditionally expected or even what was possible to achieve. His love of art, combined with the technical drawing skills he had learnt at University, enabled him to express his creativity in ways that were truly modern and original.
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