WIT AND WHIMSY

Singapore Tatler - - STYLE JEWELLERY -

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

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