Hello and welcome to our March 2022 edition of The Hancocks Journal.
This month we’re celebrating the unveiling of our very special Spencer-Churchill necklace. What was originally a sentimental gift from a husband to his wife has, over time, become a unique heirloom symbolic of the story of one family and the extraordinary web of famous people it connects. These include some of the most significant figures in 19th and 20th Century British history including Queen Victoria, The Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill. To read more about it click here.
Below we have a wonderful natural pearl and diamond ring by a firm we hear little about today but who produced jewels that rivalled some of the best names in American jewellery during the early 20th century such as Tiffany & Co., Marcus & Co. and Raymond Yard.
Our jewel of the month for March is a fabulous kinetic spinner ring by Norman Teufel, do click on the image to be taken to our website where you will see a video of it in motion, it really is quite hypnotic.
We hope you enjoy this selection of recent acquisitions. As ever, our full collection is available to view in our Burlington Arcade boutique and on our website and our Instagram page is regularly updated, all links are at the end of this newsletter.
Natural Pearl Ring
This beautiful Edwardian-era pearl and diamond ring was made by the American jewellers Gattle, in around 1910. It is set with two natural saltwater pearls in an unusual yet beautiful brownish-purple colour in a platinum mount embellished with old cut diamonds in millegrain settings. The band has been beautifully hand engraved with an ornate foliate pattern creating an elegant and sophisticated ring. Emanuel Gattle opened his eponymous jewellery store at the corner of Broadway and 27th Street when he was only 23 and for the next fifty years would furnish New York society with beautiful jewels, click below to read more of his story.
Yellow Diamond Ring
This lovely yellow diamond ring is set with a bright and lively old mine brilliant cut weighing 3.87cts and of warm light yellow colour. The diamonds we curate at Hancocks were cut during the 19th and early 20th centuries. At this time, all stone cutting was done by hand and eye and it would take years for a cutter to become experienced and skilled enough to be able to ‘see’ into a rough crystal and know just how to facet it to realise the full potential beauty of the gem. Like Michelangelo releasing David from the marble, these cutters worked to remove the unwanted parts of the rough material to reveal the inherent beauty of mother nature’s diamonds in all their glory.
Jewel of the Month
A Diamond and Gold Kinetic Spinner Ring by Teufel c.1975
Our jewel of the month for March is this whimsical vintage diamond and gold kinetic spinner ring that could easily have been seen on any dance floor in the 1970s’ Stayin’ Alive era.
Designed by Norman Teufel, the original creator of the swinger ring, this ring is composed of three separate parts that masterfully move and spin independently from one another. Made circa 1975, the ring’s central cluster features seven round brilliant cut diamonds set in a flower shape, surrounded by two concentric circles of round brilliant diamonds, all set to a plain tapered 18ct gold band.
Guy Burton concludes: “This ring really captures the spirit of 1970s’ jewellery, it is alluring, feminine and playful.”
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
When Esther Arpels married her cousin Alfred Van Cleef in 1895, their union joined two families already well established in the jewellery world. Their fathers had both entered the trade after moving to Paris in the 1860’s, Esther’s father was a jewellery salesman and Alfred’s father was a lapidary craftsman.
Alfred initially followed his father into the lapidary profession before setting up his own jewellery retail company and eventually deciding to combine his talents and resources with those of his wife’s brother Salomon (also known as Charles) who was a diamond broker. They registered their company on February 10th 1906 and Van Cleef & Arpels was born.
Just four months later they were receiving clients in the elegant surroundings of their Place Vendôme boutique.
Click below to read more of the story.