Hello and welcome to our June edition of The Hancocks Journal.
Summer has fully arrived here in London and with it comes a flurry of new jewels for us to share with you.
We start with this fabulous pair of antique Georgian diamond earrings circa 1800. Packed with an estimated 25cts of gorgeous chunky old cut diamonds, these showstopper earrings have survived over two hundred years in remarkable condition. It is very rare to find pieces like this from this period that have not been amended or altered in any way, so we’re thrilled to be able to help them find a new home. You can find out more about these earrings on our website here. Below we have an unusually coloured sapphire ring hot off our workshop bench alongside a limited edition Cartier pendant made to celebrate their 150th anniversary.
This month our maker spotlight falls on Angela Cummings, the jewellery designer most well known for her work with Tiffany & Co. during the 1970s and 80s. Our Jewel of the Month meanwhile is by another female Tiffany designer, the late Elsa Peretti, who found inspiration all around her in the natural world.
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.
Teal Sapphire Ring
Whilst we’re all familiar with the blue variety of sapphires, some might not know that this family of gems comes in a whole rainbow of different colours including this delightful shade of deep blueish green, a colour known as ‘teal’. Named after the band of colour around the eye of the Eurasian Teal (a type of duck) it is a rich slightly mysterious colour that shifts it’s hue depending on the light, sometimes more green and other times more blue. For those who love the colour green and are thinking of a green stone for an engagement ring, a teal sapphire can offer a more durable alternative to an emerald, particularly for those with an active lifestyle.
This wonderful Cartier pendant will no doubt conjure memories of a particular childhood puzzle game for those of us who were kids in the 80s and 90s! This rather more beautiful and sophisticated version is made in 18ct white gold and diamonds but it works in exactly the same way. The eight movable tiles spell out the phrase ‘I LOVE YOU’, with each letter O formed of a small round brilliant cut diamond. Only 150 of these pendants were made in 1997 to celebrate Cartier’s 150 year anniversary. This pendant is number 62 of that limited edition and is engraved to the reverse with the official Cartier anniversary crest used on all pieces made to celebrate the occasion.
Jewel of the Month
An Iconic Elsa Peretti Scorpion Necklace by Tiffany & Co.
Our June Jewel of the Month is this fabulous vintage necklace by the legendary designer Elsa Peretti whose creative vision dreamed up some of the brand’s most iconic pieces of the last 50 years.
Like many of Peretti’s pieces, this iconic necklace – which was designed in 1979 – was inspired by the natural world and in this case, the scorpions found near her home in Catalonia, Spain. Made of 18ct gold and weighing 123 grams, the elongated front legs and pincers of the scorpion wrap around the neck of the wearer. The scorpion’s body and tail form a long pendant drop with the end of its tail curved upwards and outwards, so it sits proud of the body, putting emphasis on that dangerous ‘sting in the tail’.
The design is typical of her work, she was endlessly inspired by natural forms and was obsessed with creating pared back, tactile pieces. VOGUE magazine described her jewellery as “carved, pure— irresistibly touchable—it has been called jewellery as sculpture, sculpture as jewellery, and the most sensuous jewellery in the world.”
Guy Burton, Managing Director, Hancocks London, commented: “It is testament to Elsa Peretti’s creativity and artistic eye that she could take a creature like a scorpion and transform it into a desirable piece of wearable art. We are particularly excited to have one of the original and earliest designs available for sale as they are incredibly hard to track down.”
Jewellery designer Angela Cummings was born in Austria, raised in America, studied in Italy and Germany and eventually settled in New York in the 1960s. She joined joined Tiffany & Co. in 1968, working under the guidance of Donald Claffin for several years before launching her first full collection under her own name in 1975.
Over the next nine years she created many beautiful jewels, predominantly in yellow gold and often featuring inlaid gem materials such as lapis lazuli, jade and mother of pearl or unusual materials for fine jewellery such as iron and lacquer.
She has commented that she frequently drew inspiration from nature, in particular the sea, flora and wildlife as well as ancient craftsmanship and techniques from other cultures.
This is exemplified by the Damascene collection of jewellery she created at the end of the 1970s which was inspired by the Japanese art of Shakudo. She left Tiffany in 1984 and remains one of very few named jewellery designers to work with the firm, others being Paloma Picasso, Jean Schlumberger and perhaps most famously, Elsa Peretti.
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