15-22 OCTOBERChristie’s Jewels Online AuctionBid Now
JAR - the business name and initials of the New Yorker turned jewelry design vanguard, Joel Arthur Rosenthal - has helped anchor some of the most important high jewelry collections to come to market in the last two decades.
Since 1977, from his shop on Paris’ Place Vendome, Rosenthal and his partner Pierre Jeannet have enthralled a privileged few clients a year with pieces of exceptional architectural depth, color and fancy. The pieces are made all the more exciting by JAR’s hallmark pairing of unassuming natural gems with brilliant precious stones and settings. Imagine combinations of purple-amethyst and golden-orange citrine; tourmalines in pink, green, deep-blue and black; spinels in pale-pink, purple and violet-blue; star sapphires, emeralds and diamonds - all coaxed and draped around each other to wonderful effect in complex settings of silver, platinum, aluminum, blackened-gold and titanium.
Relatively speaking, his is a focused but thoroughly influential body of work supported in no small part by the exclusivity of his output. Mr. Rosenthal’s yearly production of a scant 70-80 pieces is a terribly small number yet each jewel represents a singular and unique expression of his creativity.
Perhaps surprisingly, given his current renown, JAR was largely a Parisian secret during the first fifteen years of his career. He held an invitation-only one-night show in New York in 1987 celebrating ten years on the Place Vendome, and his pieces were collected by a coterie of perpetually-chic women including French actress and art lover Jacqueline Delubac and stage and screen actress Ellen Barkin. Barkin, who offered a magnificent collection of JAR pieces at Christie’s, spoke fondly in an interview about the tactile experience of wearing his jewels - the smoothness of the pearls against her neck, the feeling as the earrings ‘clang in her ears as she ran around town.’
It was JAR’s blockbuster exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2002 that placed him into the consciousness of fashionable women everywhere. One hundred forty-five clients loaned him their jewels for a 400 piece show, and as a ‘Thank You’ he sent each a pair of floral ear clips in colored aluminum. He made an additional 1,000 pairs of colored aluminum pansy ear clips for purchase by guests of the exhibit, and these highly coveted pieces were snapped up within days.
JAR Flower Earrings of morning glory flower design (Lot 8); currently featured in Christie’s Jewels online auction with bidding open until 22 October.
JAR revisited his floral theme in 2005 when he opened a perfume atelier at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman, and again when he exhibited his fragrances at the then-third annual Masterpiece London show. A pair of morning glory ear clips (above), signed JAR and originally designed to accompany JAR’s fragrances at this show, are now on offer in Christie’s Jewels Online Only Auction. Created in 2012, these morning glory ear clips are number thirteen in a limited edition of fifteen pairs. The architectural curves of the petals make it a dramatic piece of jewelry- and its designer’s rich and storied history only add to its appeal.