Pure Brilliance - 8 Mesmerizing High Jewelry Pieces
Jetting to Paris in September, we are dazzled by the many splendored jewels of the 26th Biennale des Antiquaires
While the Biennale des Antiquaires is not solely or even mainly a jewelry fair, it has increasingly enticed our favorite jewelry houses to show off their most spectacular creations over the years
The ornate Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees welcomed hordes of art, antiques and jewelry lovers – many of them Chinese – during the week of the Biennale des Antiquaires. It was the 26th fair organized by the French National Union of Antique Dealers and by far the biggest. More than 120 antique dealers, decorators, jewelers and booksellers converged to display their wares – 34 stands were housed in the Salon d’Honneur, last opened to the public in 1937.
At the center of the gleaming white, Paris-boulevard-style exhibition space designed by Karl Lagerfeld was an antique hot-air balloon. Bobbing beneath the building’s imposing glass dome, the candy-striped inflatable was the symbol of the fair, gracing posters and merchandise. Seeking inspiration from history, Lagerfeld had his brainwave after uncovering an archive photograph of the first Paris Air Show held at the Grand Palais in 1909.
Aside from the precious collectables, a pop-up gourmet restaurant tempted browsers. Celebrity chefs Michel Rostang, Guy Martin of Le Grand Vefour and La Bastide de Capelongue’s Edouard Loubet cooked up a storm at lunch and dinner. The pop-up space was small though, making advance reservations essential.
The highlight of the Biennale for many, however, was the exquisite jewelry, including many one-of-a-kind pieces created especially for the occasion. French legends Boucheron, Cartier, Chanel, Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels were joined by Bulgari (making its debut), Harry Winston and Piaget. And underscoring the importance of Chinese tastes and pocketbooks in today’s jewelry market,
Here are eight of our favorites, presented in alphabetical order by brand.
Biennale des Antiquaires Specifications
- 15,200 square meters of space
- 7 linear km of partitions
- 5,150 square meters of stands
- 400 workers required for their design, production and assembly
- 1 billion nails used
- 7-meter-high replica of the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde obelisk