Lead­ing Lights

Boghos­sian draws in­spi­ra­tion from a rich East-west cul­tural her­itage and an­cient trea­sures to cre­ate its in­no­va­tive jew­ellery

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus | Boghossian -

The Boghos­sian story be­gins in the nar­row al­ley­ways of an an­cient hill­top town over­look­ing the Me­sopotamian plains. It was here in the cul­tural and re­li­gious melt­ing pot of Mardin, Turkey, that the first Boghos­sian jew­ellery ate­lier opened in 1868. With part of the in­ter­na­tional trade tran­sit­ing through Mardin, the fam­ily quickly be­comes gem traders, adding the ex­change of nat­u­ral pearls and di­a­monds to their oper­a­tions.

At the break of the first World War, Ohaness Boghos­sian, the third gen­er­a­tion, es­tab­lishes it­self in the an­cient city of Aleppo and opens his first shop in 1919. The fam­ily busi­ness is thriv­ing and the cus­tomers ac­quainted with the Boghos­sian name is grow­ing from Aleppo to Jerusalem, Tripoli and even Turkey.

In 1937, Robert Boghos­sian joins force with his fa­ther and looks af­ter the bou­tique in Aleppo, al­low­ing his fa­ther to con­sol­i­date the re­la­tion­ship with the im­por­tant clien­tele of Beirut, Cairo, and Tripoli. In the 50’s, Robert Boghos­sian trav­els to China where he se­cured his own sourc­ing of fine pearls. There­after, the Boghos­sian House be­comes one of the main sup­plier of nat­u­ral pearl to the Mid­dle East­ern mar­ket.

The fam­ily moves to Beirut in 1950, at the time called the “Switzer­land of the MEA”, and fo­cuses on the wealthy clien­tele vis­it­ing the blos­som­ing cap­i­tal. Soon, the House is rec­og­nized as one of the most im­por­tant jew­eller in the re­gion.

In the 1970’s, Jean Boghos­sian, the el­der son of Robert, de­vel­ops a new ex­per­tise in the pre­cious colour gems through his nu­mer­ous trav­els to In­dia, Colom­bia, Burma, Sri Lanka, and

Thai­land. He moves to An­twerp in 1975, and es­tab­lish him­self as the colour gem spe­cial­ist in the World Di­a­mond Cen­ter.

By 1980, the Head­quar­ter moves to Geneva with Albert Boghos­sian, sec­ond son of Robert, which is be­com­ing at the time the main Highend jew­elry cen­ter, re­plac­ing Place Ven­dome in Paris. ex­per­tise and. The House fo­cuses on the exclusive high-end jew­ellery pieces, the ex­cep­tional gem trad­ing cen­ter present in the Swiss city. It is dur­ing those time that the House de­vel­ops sev­eral in­no­va­tive crafts­man­ship tech­nique.

In 2008, la Mai­son Boghos­sian opens its flag­ship store on Rue du Rhone in Geneva, fol­lowed shortly by the open­ing of the 45 Old Bond Street address. The House is also present in Hong Kong, and more re­cently opened its lat­est out­let in the Fine Jew­elry and Watches Room at Har­rod’s, Lon­don.

The East-west her­itage has con­tin­ued to be a ma­jor in­flu­ence. Boghos­sian takes great pride in its dis­tinc­tive, colour­ful de­signs, which it says pay trib­ute to an­cient civil­i­sa­tions. The House wants its col­lec­tions to em­body the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween East and West.

The Boghos­sian fam­ily has al­ways been in­volved in giv­ing back. Ini­tially, their ac­tions were mainly hu­man­i­tar­ian, and help­ing the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. In 1988, fol­low­ing the earth­quake in Ar­me­nia, the fam­ily be­came very ac­tive in Gyumri and other re­gions in Ar­me­nia to bring some relief to the lo­cal pop­u­la­tions.

Con­sid­er­ing the rel­e­vance of art and so­cial en­gage­ment in one’s so­ci­ety, the fam­ily de­cided to en­cour­age di­a­logues be­tween East­ern and Western cul­tures and in­flu­ences. In 2010, The Boghos­sian Foun­da­tion ac­quired the fa­mous Villa Em­pain in Brus­sels, pro­mot­ing di­a­logue be­tween the cul­tures of East and West through the univer­sal lan­guage of Art.

The House says crafts­man­ship is at the core of its jew­ellery and it works closely with the best work­shops in Europe. Most of the man­u­fac­tur­ing takes place in Switzer­land, but when spe­cific ex­per­tise is re­quired, for ex­am­ple for “stone in stone” carv­ings, Boghos­sian works with stone carvers in the famed Idar-ober­stein area of Ger­many, while for other tech­niques it goes to the skilled work­shops in Mi­lan.

Boghos­sian has in­tro­duced sev­eral in­no­va­tive tech­niques in­clud­ing the Art of In­lay, tech­nique con­sist­ing of set­ting one stone within an­other—a fresh take on an art that goes back to an­cient Egypt and the Mogul em­pire.

Its Kiss­ing Di­a­monds tech­nique al­lows the light from two pre­cious stones to com­bine in a sin­gle re­flec­tion of light. Its com­bi­na­tions of pearly, shiny and opaque ef­fects cre­ate depth and di­men­sion, with hun­dreds of facets cre­at­ing pat­terns and colours that change and merge de­pend­ing on the an­gle from which they are seen.

The lat­est in­no­va­tion is Les Merveilles Col­lec­tion, in which di­a­monds are set from all four sides to cre­ate a piece of jew­ellery which looks so del­i­cate that even close up one can only marvel at how the stones to­gether.

“De­sign­ing jew­ellery is like paint­ing with light,” says CEO Albert Boghos­sian. “Since gold in­ter­feres with the light re­flec­tion, we work hard to find new ways of hold­ing the stones to­gether with min­i­mal in­ter­ven­tion from the pre­cious metal.”

The full col­lec­tion in­cor­po­rat­ing this tech­nique will be launched in spring 2017. The first show­case pieces were un­veiled at the Bi­en­nale des An­ti­quar­ies in Paris and Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong and will soon be on dis­play in the Boghos­sian flag­ship stores, in Geneva, Lon­don and Hong Kong.

Model Bella Ha­did is the face of Boghos­sian for their new col­lec­tion Les Merveilles

EX­CEP­TIONAL PIECES Di­a­mond River neck­lace and earrings by Boghos­sian

CRAFTS­MAN­SHIP AT ITS BEST Kiss­ing Di­a­monds ring with a no-heat pear-shaped ruby and di­a­monds by Boghos­sian; a jew­ellery artist works on a mas­ter­piece

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