Hello and welcome to the June, 2022 edition of The Hancocks Journal.
Here in the U.K. we’ve recently celebrated The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a long weekend full of fun and festivities. Oh and bunting, lots and lots of bunting!
So for our Jewel of the Month we had to choose a platinum jewel and we wanted one that didn’t just use this precious metal but that really celebrated it. Our vintage Van Cleef & Arpels necklace does exactly that and is both an unusual and surprisingly contemporary looking piece that was featured in Vogue magazine in 1943.
The beautiful ring above is from the 1930s and is set with a rare early mixed cut diamond. The gently rounded cushion shape has a combination of both step and brilliant faceting which is very unusual and gives this diamond a truly unique character. Another recent diamond acquisition from the same period is a romantic heart shaped diamond ring by Raymond Yard. You can read more about the ring and about Yard below as he is our maker in the spotlight this month.
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.
Roman Coin Brooch
A perfect marriage of antique and antiquity, this brooch was made in around the 1870s and is set with a coin which dates right back to the turn of the 1st century. The Roman coin brooch is by the master jeweller Castellani and is centred with a silver Denarius featuring the head of Trajan, Roman emperor from A.D. 98-117, within a beautifully crafted gold frame featuring four rope twist borders and a wide ground decorated with fine gold twists and beading. The Castellani workshop was a mecca for visitors to Rome and no nineteenth century lady or gentleman visiting Italy would consider a tour of the city complete without a stop at Castellani’s to marvel at, and likely purchase, one of his hugely fashionable pieces of jewellery.
Platinum Cockatoo Brooch
The newest member of our eclectic menagerie of birds and beasts is this wonderful platinum and gem-set cockatoo brooch by Garrards & Co. Made in platinum and gold with a spectacular ruby and diamond crest, the body has been expertly engraved to resemble feathers to both the front and back of the piece. Accompanied by the original red leather fitted case, this is a beautiful brooch with exemplary craftsmanship and detail by the company that were, at the time this was made, not only warrant holders but also the Crown Jewellers to Her Majesty the Queen. Founded in 1735, Garrard are best known for making possibly the world’s most famous engagement ring – that of Diana, Princess of Wales, now worn by Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Jewel of the Month
A Brushed Platinum and Diamond Necklace by VCA c.1942
With Her Majesty the Queen becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee this month after 70 years of service, we felt it was apt to choose a special piece of platinum jewellery for our Jewel of the Month.
This beautiful and unusual platinum and diamond necklace was made by Van Cleef and Arpels in New York circa 1942. The articulated necklace is made entirely of platinum and has a straight ribbon form with a double domed profile. It is set across the width at regular intervals with 63 inlaid rows of transition cut diamonds, each row composed of three stones. Somewhat unusually for fine jewellery of this period, the platinum has been given a soft brushed satin finish which creates a slightly utilitarian edge to the piece.
Director Guy Burton notes: “It may be 80 years old, but this necklace has a timeless appeal and enduring modernity to it and truly celebrates the allure of platinum and its perfect partnership with diamonds.”
“Mr Yard’s impeccable taste helped set the standard for American jewellery during the twentieth century.” David Rockefeller was far from alone in this belief, Yard’s client list read like a who’s who of America’s wealthiest and most prominent families and his knowledge, charm and warmth were widely appreciated by all who knew him.
Raymond Yard opened the doors to his eponymous jewellery house in 1922 at the age of 37, working from a discreet private salon on Fifth Avenue, New York. After twenty five years working for the jeweller Marcus & Co. during which time he had risen from messenger boy to general manager, he resigned and went into business by himself.
This decision was in no small part influenced by the encouragement of several of his regular clients, not least John D. Rockefeller Jr., who not only patronised the new business immediately but also recommended Yard to family and friends.
Click below to read more of his story.