Extraordinary jeweller Moussaieff attends La Bienale Paris for the first time
Using their signature East-meets-West design and penchant for exquisite gemstones, they have created a range of unique pieces for the illustrious event
Headlining the collection is the beautiful Traffic Light Pendant, followed by a number of key creations equally stunning
There are many things you can pass by without a glance on Bond Street. You can usually walk by the other visitors – a mix of tourists, wealthy eccentrics and the social elite of most of the developed world – and ignore the almost constant building works. You can even breeze past most of the samey fashion boutiques. You can’t do that with Moussaieff.
Even if parts of the boutique seem stolen straight off the silk routes, the sheer bedazzlement of gemstones glimmering in the windows are wont to put Aladdin’s cave to shame. There might not be a lamp but the average passer-by would need three wishes to get their hands on some of the pieces therein.
It’s strange therefore that Moussaieff has never made a showing at La Biennale Paris. It is after all arguably the most exclusive jewellery show in the world; surely the attendance of one of Bond Street’s most exclusive jewellers is a given? Apparently not; until that is this September.
As the host of antiques specialists, a good number of jewellers and handful of watchmakers make their way to the Grand Palais. Moussaieff will be among them. More than that, they are set to have one of the grandest stands of the show – not bad for first-timers.
Of course, merely having a good position isn’t enough. Having poll position doesn’t win a race if you’re missing a wheel. Needless to say, Moussaieff is making its presence known with some particularly spectacular pieces created with the Biennale Paris in mind – the headliner of which is the Traffic Light Pendant.
The name says it all really, except that this particular piece is only likely to stop traffic. Just seeing the stones on paper is astounding: a 43.86ct Colombian emerald, a 158.81ct Sri Lanka Sapphire and 4.02ct and 5.16ct Thai rubies. In actuality, their numerical values just can’t do the stones justice. Even by Moussaieff standards, they are exceptional.
The design itself harks back to the origins of the Moussaieff family, namely the Silk Road city of Bukhara. A good part of that is in the gemstone palette, the deep greens, blues and reds that are the focal point of the jewel. The various shapes of the pendant stones are just as exotic, a wonderful contrast to the relatively western diamond necklace that supports them.
One piece does not an exhibition make and while the Traffic Light Pendant is the understandable centrepiece, there’s more to Moussieff’s Biennale extravaganza; every headliner needs a supporting act. In this case it’s a three-member group of staggering beauty.
The first is part homage Empress Eugenie, the wife of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte III, part whimsical flight of bejewelled fancy: an extravagant titanium and diamond necklace totalling well over 50 carats, along with a phenomenal 57.21cts Paraiba tourmaline. It would have looked just as fitting on a 1920s flapper girl with immaculate taste as it does today.
The second star jewel is a ring that showcases Moussieff’s penchant for coloured diamonds; case in point, a 6.54cts intense pink marquise diamond paired in its baby hues with a 4.34cts natural fancy vivid VS2 blue marquise diamond. Both are rare finds and the pair together offers a beautiful symmetry, particularly with a pink diamond pave shank.
The final Biennale piece is similar in that is uses fancy pink and blue diamonds, but much darker in colour. 7.60cts of Fancy Blue diamonds in two different cuts provide the focal points, while the pink diamonds flank the earrings for a touch of contrast, both elegant and playful.
Moussaieff may not have been to La Biennale Paris before – still something I find surprising – but with the collection of pieces (these and plenty more) they are bringing to the show, the show regulars might find themselves a little quieter this year.
Words by: Sam Kessler