Type to search

Fine Jewelry LIFESTYLE

Mahnaz Collection explores English vintage jewelry

Share

As Spring sets in, an exhibition in New York City – London Originals: The Jeweler’s Art in Radical Times – gears up to showcase English jewelry legends.

Global policy ​expert turned vintage-jewelry dealer, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos, who founded Mahnaz Collection, has curated the show to center on a creative mix of iconic London jewelers harking back to a period of seismic changes in the arts, architecture, technology, design, fashion, music, women’s rights and youth culture. The high point is a rare chance to see the handcrafted pieces by Andrew Grima, Charles de Temple, Barbara Cartlidge, David Thomas, David Watkins, Gerda Flockinger, George Weil, John Donald, Kutchinsky, Tom Scott and Wendy Ramshaw.

Diamond and 18 karat nugget flake gold crown design brooch by John Donald 1972

                       Diamond and 18 karat nugget flake gold crown design brooch by John Donald 1972

Among the spectacular vintage designs on display is a gold, textured sunburst pendant set with a faceted green tourmaline and sprinkled with diamonds on a textured gold torque necklace and an eye-catching agate and trillion-cut tourmaline and diamond accented white gold ring by Andrew Grima. “The designers and artists in the show, especially Andrew Grima, seized the opportunities presented and, by conceiving precious jewelry in an entirely fresh idiom, made an inspired contribution to the larger cultural history of the period.” Grima was an exceptional designer. Completely untaught, he led the way for a new generation of jewelers, she observes. “They textured yellow gold in a dozen different ways, used natural, unpolished and uncut stones, or set fine diamonds in modernist settings. Some of Andrew Grima’s jewels, with their rough crystals, dense textures, and massive scale, exemplified Brutalist style in miniature form; other pieces, such as his gold brooch cast from pencil shavings, displayed elements of pop art,” explains Mahnaz.

Diamond and 18 karat nugget flake gold crown design brooch by John Donald 1972

                               Diamond and 18 karat nugget flake gold crown design brooch by John Donald 1972

Also of note is a pair of earrings by Barbara Cartlidge in gold, featuring amethyst slices in the center. A wide bracelet made in textured and polished gold, and platinum – punctuated with diamonds – resembling brick stacks, made by David Morris, recalls his artistry and showcases his talent for creating bold wearable arts. Another treasure being showcased at the exhibition is a marvelous bracelet embellished by David Thomas in gold stepped link with faceted tourmalines and baguette-cut diamonds. A precious brooch in nugget flake gold crown designed by John Donald shimmer delightfully with diamond accents that converge in the centre. Not lost on Mahnaz’s keen eye is the “very diverse and impressive work” that mirrors a “uniquely direct love affair with nature; engagement with technology; originality in design, matched by superb craftsmanship; experimentation with gold; and the use of unusual gemstones, minerals and non-precious materials.”

Faceted tourmaline baguette cut diamond and 18 karat gold stepped link bracelet by David Thomas

                     Faceted tourmaline baguette cut diamond and 18 karat gold stepped link bracelet by David Thomas

What is quite unusual about Mahnaz Collection is that it brings a “perspective nurtured early in the east to modernist vintage European and American jewelry.” Mahnaz, who was raised to appreciate yellow gold, an ancient, enduring metal with endless design possibilities, extends the appreciation to the pieces she curates for her gallery. “I may be one of the only – or only – fine jewelry gallerist of this kind in the United States,” she adds.

 

 

Pair of amethyst slice and 18 karat gold earrings by Barbara Cartlidge 1970

                                   Pair of amethyst slice and 18 karat gold earrings by Barbara Cartlidge 1970

 
The exhibition, which was on at Wright, continues until May 11 at Mahnaz Collection gallery on East 57th Street.
 
Diamond,18 karat textured and polished gold and platinum wide bracelet, by David Morris,

                       Diamond,18 karat textured and polished gold and platinum wide bracelet, by David Morris,

www.mahnazcollection.com

 

 

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Smitha Sadanandan

Smitha Sadanandan is an accomplished journalist, who writes on travel, lifestyle, design, jewelry and watches for several publications including Upscale Living Magazine.

Latest posts by Smitha Sadanandan (see all)

Tags:
Smitha Sadanandan

Smitha Sadanandan is an accomplished journalist, who writes on travel, lifestyle, design, jewelry and watches for several publications including Upscale Living Magazine.

  • 1