WIT AND WHIMSY
Schlumberger rose to prominence in Paris as the jeweller to Elsa Schiaparelli, and moved to the US during the Second World War. After setting up his own design studio with business partner Nicolas Bongard, he was enlisted by Tiffany & Co in 1956 to create jewels for the American stalwart. He would become one of only four designers that Tiffany & Co allowed to stamp their name on its pieces—the other three being Frank Gehry, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso—and would go on to amass a number of famous fans, including Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor, Babe Paley, Greta Garbo, the Duchess of Windsor, and more. His most popular design was arguably the Paillonne enamel bracelet that was nicknamed Jackie, after its most famous wearer, Jacqueline Kennedy. Today, these bracelets are still in great demand, and you would be lucky to find one across the counter at a Tiffany & Co boutique. Good luck finding them on auction as well, as the vintage bracelets from the 1960s and ’70s are an even rarer breed. With hundreds of Schlumberger designs in its archives, it only makes sense that Tiffany & Co revisits its talented collaborator’s heritage and brings them back to life with a dedicated high jewellery collection. The Masterpieces collection features iconic designs that Schlumberger had created in the past and showcases his ability to transform a flower or a bird into a precious thing of beauty. Even a critter as mundane as the cricket is given the Schlumberger treatment, with gorgeous results: the 1965 clip, made originally for Rachel Lowe Lambert Clopton (mother of New York socialite and Schlumberger fan Bunny Mellon), has been modernised with a body of platinum and yellow gold, and studded with diamonds, emeralds, pink and blue sapphires. It is truly an accolade to Tiffany & Co’s craftsmen, who have articulated the body in such a realistic manner, down to the last detail, while ensuring that the end result embodies glamour. While coloured gemstones were Schlumberger’s calling card, he could also weave magic with a monochromatic palette of yellow gold, diamonds and pearls. Derived from a 1957 suite sold to Bunny Mellon, the Flowers and Bars necklace makes you marvel at the intricate craftsmanship displayed by Tiffany & Co. The diamond flowers and their Akoya pearl stems appear to be floating, but are ingeniously linked by yellow gold bars. Only a jewellery house as accomplished as Tiffany & Co can do justice to Schlumberger’s vision, and it is an accolade to the artist’s creativity that the jewels today are still as coveted as they were 60 years ago. After all, old truly is gold.
Diana Vreeland’s Trophée de Vaillance brooch in gold and platinum with rubies, amethyst and enamel, circa 1941
Dahlia compact case in gold with yellow beryls and mirror, circa 1962
Anchor brooch in gold and platinum with amethysts, rubies and pink sapphires, circa 1939
IN BLOOM The Flower pendant from the 2017 high jewellery collection in yellow gold and platinum with diamonds