The imagination of Joel Arthur Rosenthal, known to his followers as JAR, seems without limits. One of the most celebrated and exclusive contemporary jewellers, he is the creator of a fabulous menagerie of animals jewels, as well as wonders deriving inspiration from numerous periods in the History of Art. One need only refer to his extremely elgant, yet capricious, diamond bow earclips sold by Christie's St. Moritz in February 1995. The present ear-pendants with their delicate amethyst drops are evocative of the briolette jewellery popular in the 18th Century as can be seen in the corsage ornament worn in the above portrait of Empress Marie-Thérèse. They also call to mind the elongated ear-pendants popular in the 1930s.
In an era during which creativity in the sphere of joaillerie is considered by some to be on the wane, JAR is constantly defining, redefining and challenging our visual perceptions of jewels. Who else could have dreamed up an exhibition of his oeuvre in a darkened, treasure hunt-like atmosphere for which each participant was provided as flashlight to view the marvels? What other jeweller would have the whim to create a brooch representing a zebra with a diamond-set feather aigrette? JAR has even been said to set a secret diamond in the back of a brooch known only to himself and the owner. By stepping into the world of JAR, one feels like Alice in Wonderland as she went through the looking glass. It is magical and accessible to only a few.