Contemporary jewels to hunt out at TEFAF


After two glorious days spent at TEFAF Maastricht, here are my top five contemporary jewellery highlights, which reflect the diversity and quality on show.

Wallace Chan’s butterfly is rich in detail. The amethyst has been hand-carved by Wallace to create the rippling wings that are then set with diamonds and other precious gems in coloured titanium. The body is a green tourmaline that can be removed to wear the jewel as a brooch or pendant .

Otto Jakob’s hand pendant harks back to the 17th-century tradition of hands clutching relics that were worn as amulets. Here, an elaborately decorated and very lifelike panther chameleon curls around an enamelled hand, complete with miniature rings and a golden tattoo .

Hemmerle aluminium, amethyst and sapphire earrings, inspired by the humble artichoke. The aluminium construction not only makes these earrings light in weight but allows Hemmerle to carefully create a colour treatment to complement the richly saturated amethysts for a bright and surprising effect .

The Didier gallery in London offers for sale at TEFAF Maastricht this weirdly wonderful Orgasmoplode acrylic epoxy and lacquer brooch by the artist Adam Paxon (2002). Winner of the Jerwood Prize for Applied arts in 2007, it shows how art and jewellery become one by elevating humble materials to new heights of expression .

London-based gallery Elisabetta Cipriani is exhibiting a host of jewels created by artists, including this drawer full of Giorgio Vigna brooches. Using copper, silver and gold, the lightweight Sassi brooches are wearable works of art that reflect Vigna’s interest in organic shapes as found in pebbles, shells and lichen. 

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