See

Business

08 August 2016

Box of surprises…

The jewelry box? A small box more important than it looks.

Closely hugging the form of the jewel, the box is its protection. It also has a role to play in the art of the gift; it exhilarates the sensation of waiting and multiplies the mystery. When opened it brings pleasure and surprise. Some are recognizable at first glance, like Cartier’s. The most famous of them all, red leather-bound with a golden frieze, it has a part to play in all the publicity films and in all the display windows. Vuitton’s, developed in 2001 when it began its jewelry collection, is also very recognizable because it takes the form of a carpeted trunk in Monogram canvas.

The craftsmen capable of this work are now an endangered species. And their prices are astronomical: for a necklace, count on 2,000 euros for the gift box handmade in poplar wood and lined with leather. For the designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac, “They are essential because they participate in forging the identity of a House.” Hers, in leather colors to match those of the jewels and her shop are studied in every detail and feature her favorite designs stamped on the edge. Even the muted yet clean sound made when the box is closed has been well thought out…

Colors, materials … In terms of creativity, everything is possible. Valérie Messika has designed a special one for engagement rings: a black box that lights up when opened. One of the most original ideas came up a few years ago from Solange Azagury-Partridge, the then creative director at Boucheron: an interior lined with dark mink for high jewelry.

The original box of an old piece can itself contribute to determining a piece’s authenticity. For collectors, it represents a sort of guarantee. “It can also be a source of surprises…” finally tells the four-century-old jewelry house, Mellerio. Indeed the box of a convertible jewelry piece from nineteenth century was often fitted with secret compartments concealing a chignon pin, a pendant, a screwdriver or even… intimate messages.

Most popular articles

Brenda Kang: vintage jewelry in Asia

“The social media are also playing a huge part in the spread of vintage jewelry, especially WeChat and Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book), a kind of...

Diamonds – a future pretty in pink?

Rio Tinto has built up a reputation for its pink diamonds on a par with Muzo’s for emeralds.

A new craze: infatuation with antique jewelry in China

The impressive results of Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale this April reveal Asian clients’ growing predilection for 19th-century European jewelry.

JAR's "Sheep's Head" knocked down for five times its estimate at Christie's Paris

“This clip has a powerful effect on people: it even disturbed some of our customers,” says Violaine d’Astorg, director of the jewelry department in...

The French watch and jewelry market in 2020

Francéclat publishes a study on the watch and jewelry market: it shows a market in shock, for in 2020, its turnover was down by 14%. But there are glimmers...

Cresus, the pre-owned watch pioneer

Cresus emerged as a trailblazer on the pre-owned watch market almost 30 years ago. We meet the company’s CEO, Maximilien Urso.