Masterpiece London is a fair hosting fine art, jewellery, design, yachts, cars and antiques from the world’s leading exhibitors. It presents the best of best from an array of epochs and cultures. It will be held from 27 June to 3 July 2013 on the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3. (Title photo, above, courtesy of Luke Sheridan).
The exhibitors include Hancocks, a UK based, family-run jewellery business with an international reach that specializes in fine jewellery and silver, from antique pieces to contemporary works. Hancocks, established over 150 years ago, moved to 52/53 Burlington Arcade, London, in 1997. They are the only company that has the warrant to produce the Victoria Cross, the highest British military decoration awarded for valour.
The pieces exhibited by Hancocks include masterworks by Harry Winston and René Lalique. Harry Winston's career began at the age of twelve, when he noticed a plain ring with a green stone in a pawnshop window, which he bought for 25 cents. The green stone in question was a two-carat emerald, and the ring went on to sell for $800. Harry had a definite eye for diamonds, coloured gemstones and jewellery. This talent led to the creation of one of the world’s largest international jewellery houses.
The concept for the ‘Holly Wreath’ necklace came about in 1944 when Harry was admiring a holly wreath hanging from his front door. Inspired by the way the leaves shaped the wreath, he went on to adapt this into jewellery, with a new technique whereby you would only see the gemstones and not the supporting metal, the so-called invisible setting. The necklace is constructed of pear-cut, round and marquise diamonds. Below, the magnificent diamond 'Holly Wreath' necklace set with 152cts of pear-shape, round and marquise diamonds. Harry Winston, New York.
Hancocks will also exhibit an exceptional butterfly brooch by René Lalique. His love for art and nature is delicately reflected by this brooch, given by Renè Lalique to his daughter Suzanne Lalique-Haviland. The enamel is in good condition and the diamonds are bright and lively. Below, the beautiful and rare enamel and diamond butterfly brooch by René Lalique, Paris circa 1895.
Other exhibits presented by Hancocks at Masterpiece London: a pair of 18ct yellow and white gold and black onyx ‘Wasp’ brooches by Hermès (below):
A striking aquamarine, diamond and black enamel hinged bangle bracelet by Jean Fouquet, Paris circa 1927.