Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the acclaimed contemporary jewelry designer and artist, is better known by his initials or acronym – JAR. Highly coveted and exclusively offered, jewels by JAR are a vital component of the most important jewelry collections in the world.
A jewelry collector’s appetite for JAR is never fully satisfied – he keeps the world on the edge of their seats awaiting his next unpredictable design. Christie’s is honored to present the following Jewels by JAR: Property from an Important West Coast Collection – a rare opportunity for collectors to have the privilege of acquiring one of JAR’s distinctively artistic and highly coveted masterpieces.
Born in New York City in 1943, Joel Rosenthal graduated from Harvard in 1966 before moving to Paris. After a brief period in the film industry, he opened a needlepoint shop, where his clients included designers from Hermès and Valentino. After working with Bulgari in New York, he returned to Paris and in 1977 opened a store on Place Vendôme with his partner, Pierre Jeannet; his initials, JAR, are the only source of identification on its façade.
Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Jeannet operate their shop behind this discrete storefront without advertisement or window display. A rare privilege, few clients have the opportunity to behold the masterpieces that await inside – jewels that pair unusual gemstones with untraditional materials.
JAR’s uncanny ability to express creativity through the entire range of the color spectrum, from the very subtle to the bold, delight the eye. His superior craftsmanship, evocative of the quality of jewels from the 18th and 19th centuries, and his daring sense of proportion are what set him apart from any other. Mr. Rosenthal’s passion for perfection and unmatched innovation earned him a retrospective at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013, the first living jeweller to be granted this honor. Three jewels from the present collection, Lots 150, 152 and 154, were featured in this prestigious exhibition.
JAR’s yearly production of about 70 creations is scant, yet each jewel represents a singular and unique expression of his creativity. His ability to incorporate surprising hues and cuts of gemstones creates jewels that have exceptional architectural depth, dynamism and scale. Irresistibly drawn to his jewelry, his clientele is an assemblage of timeless style icons, tastemakers and fine art collectors, including Jacqueline Delubac, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth Taylor and Lily Safra – incredible collections that Christie’s is proud to have also represented.
This Important West Coast collection captures the wide range of color and materials that often drive each jewel’s overall design. From splendid natural pearl drops (Lot 153) that effortlessly dance between diamond frames, to faceted diamond beads that gently rest on sculpted branches (Lot 154), JAR’s absence of color is at times equally as powerful as his boldly hued creations. Alternatively, the presence of purplish pink and yellow diamonds, purple and pink sapphires and topazes, blue green tourmalines and emeralds present in this collection equally embodies JAR’s exceptional skill of blending various colors and gemstones.