Spring has always signified the beginnings of new life for both flora and fauna as the season changes from the dormancy of winter. Our specialist Maryanne looks at how it has also influenced jewellery design over the centuries.
This year, more than ever, the sight of new spring buds and flowers are a particularly welcome sight. For thousands of years, the natural world has provided the perfect inspiration for all types of art and the subject matter especially lends itself, in my opinion, to jewellery design and creation. Floral sprays and bouquets of flowers are often depicted in brooches, using various diamonds and coloured stones.
A particularly fine example of jewellery representing this theme is exhibited in a diamond and enamel brooch, made by Boucheron, that we have offered into our Summer auction. Its centrepiece is a stunning flower formed of blue enamel petals with central diamond buds, all mounted to three pave set diamond leaves. The setting is made from 18ct white gold and platinum to best display the stones and enamel work. Quality of workmanship can be guaranteed with the signature of Boucheron on the reverse, a French luxury jewellery brand founded in the mid-19th century.
Keeping with the natural theme, also offered in to the auction, is an 18ct gold Boucheron brooch in the form of a duck. Our enduring love and fascination with animals means that any jewellery pieces related to fauna always prove popular on the open market at auction.
Accompanying the duck, we also have a menagerie of three other animal brooches depicting a squirrel, dog and fox, each eagerly awaiting a new home. It is not just brooches, however, that are used by jewellers to interpret the natural world, necklaces, rings and bracelets also provide the perfect canvas. Snakes, with their sinuous sleek bodies, have often been used as inspiration in jewellery, their forms entwining around the wrist or neck and terminating in a precious stone set head and tail. A particularly beautiful example of this was displayed in a Victorian diamond and turquoise snake necklace that we sold in 2019 for £4200 (Incl bp). Snakes also make an appearance in our summer sale in the form of an 18ct yellow gold diamond set ring.
Despite a tough 2020 for everyone, one of the positive things to come out of the year is the impact the numerous lockdowns have had on nature. Both floral and fauna have thrived and our natural environment has become even more cherished. I’m sure that in the future we will find even more ways to embody its beauty in art and that its representation and adornment through precious jewellery will continue to be admired and treasured.