Welcome to our September edition of The Hancocks Journal.
There is a definite ‘back to school’ feeling in the air but we are happily holding on to the last of the sunshine and warmth with some beautiful late summer days here in London. This month we have some glorious jewels to share with you including our 1950s Cartier Bird of Paradise brooch and an iconic masterpiece from Van Cleef & Arpels via the workshop of Georges Lenfant. We hope you enjoy these highlights of our new arrivals and as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any more information.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Cheveux d’ange Necklace
This superb Cheveux D’Ange gold and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels dates from 1954. The iconic ‘Thread’ inspired jewels of the 1950s take various different forms including these ‘Cheveux D’Ange’ or Angel Hair designs. The golden threads of the necklace flow around the neck and the design resembles an asymmetric collar one might see on a dress of the period. It is a truly beautiful statement jewel expertly conceived by VCA and executed by the workshop of master craftsman Georges Lenfant. A black and white image of the design features in the Van Cleef & Arpels book by Sylvie Raulet.
Old Cut Pink Diamond Ring
Our beautiful new diamond ring is set with a 0.71ct old-cut pear-shape diamond of the prettiest Fancy Orangy Pink colour. Early pear-shape gems, like this one, were often gentler and more generous in their proportions than today’s modern cuts. Typically on the fuller side with a softly curved end and a gently rounded tip they often have a flat open culet and faceting style that resembles old mine cut diamonds. We are huge fans of old-cut diamonds in general but were particularly delighted to find this one and have set it simply with a diamond halo and rose gold to compliment the blush tones.
Jewel of the Month
When our Director Guy found this stunning 10.99ct Burmese sapphire he knew it was destined for a very special ring. The unusually high domed cabochon cut with a four-sided pyramid profile is known as a sugar loaf cabochon and its depth is perfect for showing off the intense colour of this sapphire. Guy notes “Some of the world’s most beautiful sapphires have been discovered in Burma. Most people associate this location with the finest rubies which account for some 80-90% of gem production in Mogok but the sapphires of this region can be exceptional too. The best display a rich, intense blue with a deep concentrated saturation and little to no colour variation within the stone – just like this one.”
Georges Lenfant could be described as one of the unsung heroes of 20th Century French jewellery.
A hugely skilled designer and manufacturer, he was a Cartier workmaster and made jewellery for many of the top Parisian houses of the Place Vendome and rue de la Paix, including Van Cleef & Arpels, Mauboussin and Mellerio dits Meller, To find out more about this virtuoso maker and the son who carried on his legacy, click the link below.