One thing extraordinarily cool is going on within the jewellery world proper now: an all-new exhibition at Sotheby’s that’s solely devoted to celebrating the work of Black jewelers.
Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance opened at Sotheby’s New York on September seventeenth and can run by way of September twenty sixth. Co-curated by jewellery author and stylist, Melanie Grant (who’s a fantastic IG follow, btw) and Sotheby’s Sale Director of Jewellery, Frank Everett, the exhibition showcases custom-made creations and signature designs by greater than twenty of the world’s main Black jewellery designers spanning a variety of durations and kinds from the Fifties to the current day and every bit is on the market.
And sure, my darlings, it’s as dazzling as you’re imagining. The vary of favor and persona and sheer luminous magnificence is electrical. In the event you’re in NYC, go see this in particular person. It will likely be superior.
I’m not going to waste your time by blathering on after I know all of us simply wish to see the jewellery. I don’t have room to indicate you all 63 items by these good Black jewelers, however I’m going to highlight a few of my faves.
Maggi Simpkins is a jeweler I’ve admired for years. I discovered her through Instragram and at all times loved seeing her inventive, colourful rings. After I heard she was designing a number of items particularly for Sotheby’s Sensible & Black, I knew they’d be good…however the actuality is much more unbelievable than I had imagined. She BEYOND knocked it out of the park. I imply, LOOK at these rings.
These rings give me chills. After I have a look at them, I really feel them within the pit of my abdomen. That is distinctive stones and visionary artistry mixed in one of the best ways. Sure, Maggi Simpkins, sure!
Castro is one other famous person Black jeweler who it’s possible you’ll already be aware of. If not, congratulations, since you get to see his work for the primary time and that’s a deal with. It was an actual battle deciding which of Castro’s pieces to indicate you as a result of they’re all SO COOL.
Born in Ohio and now primarily based in Istanbul, Castro’s work is opulent, elaborate, placing, and at all times a revelation. Simply have a look at these two items and also you’ll see what I imply. The necklace on the left, Vintage Bisque Doll, converts right into a shorter necklace and a removable pendant – and the doll pendant is sporting a detachable masks.
I used to be attempting to not go too in-depth on any specific artist on this publish, however I needed to provide you with a better have a look at the pendant from the Bisque Doll necklace. On the left is Castro’s different lot within the sale, a pair of earrings. Every design is price looking at for hours. They nearly have a Renaissance jewellery vibe, don’t you suppose? What an extremely gifted artist.
Artwork Smith is a full on jewellery icon/legend. An avid supporter of dance who was recognized for his assist of homosexual and Black civil rights, Smith is taken into account one of many main fashionable jewelers of the mid-century. Not solely did he open his personal store within the 1946’s, however Smith’s work offered in malls within the 1950’s and has been repeatedly featured in Vogue, and exhibited on the Brooklyn Museum and Cooper Hewitt.
My eyes love to bop throughout the whorls of this Artwork Smith necklace – my gaze is pulled up and down and throughout. I can’t resist it.
Almasika by Parisian-born Catherine Sarr is a model I already know and love. Totally stylish and luscious, the designer’s work is closely impressed by significant symbolism just like the cowrie shell that varieties the constructing block of those beautiful black rhodium and diamond earrings earrings. The cuff and the opposite pair of earrings are buttery 18K yellow gold with tsavorite garnets.
That ridged gold simply seems to be so satisfying to the touch, doesn’t it? I wish to pet that cuff bracelet.
Sheryl Jones is a jeweler with a background within the leisure business and her expertise within the performing arts has turn into a robust affect in her jewellery designs. Her jewels converse for themselves – have a look at this extraordinary use of colour! I really like a necklace that makes use of stunning coloured gems and this combo of asscher minimize peridot, pink sapphires, rubies, tourmalines, kunzites, and diamonds. It’s referred to as “The Heroine’s Necklace” which is a reputation I completely love.
This necklace seems to be convertible as effectively; the itemizing reveals it with and with out the pendant in addition to the pendant alone. You’ll be able to see this piece modeled in one of many editorial images on the finish of this publish.
In the event you’ve seen Thelma West’s Insurgent Black ring not too long ago, it might be as a result of Rihanna rocked it on the Met Gala purple carpet final week. There aren’t many fancier methods for a chunk of knickknack to be seen.
Because the images clarify, West’s jewellery is daring, badass, and impossibly cool. Smooth traces and graphic slashes of blackened gold and black ceramic showcasing dynamic diamonds make each an unforgettable head-turner. Take a look at the prongs that maintain the diamond within the ring – prongs are sometimes an afterthought, merely a structural necessity, however these prongs are absolutely a part of the design. Prime notch glamour with a twist. I find it irresistible.
Jacqueline Rabun’s items within the Sensible & Black exhibition use one among my favourite supplies: rutilated quartz. These stunning, thread-like traces are the rutile inclusions and what makes this stone so cool. This assortment known as Black Love and is a good instance of Rauben’s natural, architecturally influenced model.
Harwell Godfrey is one other well-known modern Black jeweler whose work I’m at all times delighted to see. Her designs are daring and joyful, with shiny colours and a heat, splendidly welcoming vibe. Her work is impressed by the 4 parts, block printing, and weaving.
Godfrey is understood for her philanthropy, and up to now few years she has created charity coronary heart pendants with 100% of the proceeds going to the NAACP, No Hungry Child, World Central Kitchen and Human Rights Marketing campaign. Harwell Godfrey additionally helped set up the Artwork Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund to assist Black college students concentrating in jewellery on the Trend Institute of Expertise in NYC.
Oh, these earrings! Their quiet magnificence and sense of peace is so highly effective. They’re by Tenthousandthings, a model with an NYC storefront that’s designed by Ron Anderson and David Rees. The gathering is sculptural, natural, and concurrently daring and serene, with a knack for surprising summary shapes and bewitching pure gems.
These earrings are simply such a knockout. Such a particular, eye-catching impartial. I really like the concept of those as an on a regular basis assertion piece.
There’s a lot extra to like in Sensible & Black: A Jewellery Renaissance! Click on by way of right here to see each single piece on Sotheby’s web site. The net catalogue additionally has mini-bios about each single designer, so it’s price a search for a number of causes.
I really like the Sotheby’s is doing an exhibition to rejoice Black jewelers and the curation is spectacular – actually a pleasure to behold, even simply over the web. Keep in mind, this unbelievable exhibition of Black Jewelers’ work solely lasts by way of September twenty sixth, so don’t sleep on it.
Need to see extra public sale posts? Go to my Public sale archive right here.
All photos and data c/o Sotheby’s, editorial images c/o Menelik Puryear.