Prepare to be amazed. Though, if you read the words Lydia Courteille in the headline, you probably already were.
This is seriously next level stuff—even for Courteille, whose creations are always detailed, colorful, and incredibly masterful.
“High jewelry or historical piece of art, what is your opinion?” asked the designer on Instagram, alongside photos and a video of this piece, a remarkable cuff bracelet from the Caravan collection. The answer, you’ll find, is both—with the historical part being a fascinating facet to an already alluring piece.
The gem-obsessed may fancy a game of “What’s that stone?” when looking at this creation. Even if one hazards a guess at the material—spoiler: It’s banded onyx—to know the history behind it would be incredibly impressive.
A cylinder seal, the name for the artifact that sits at the center of this incredible piece, is a highly detailed form of identification. Most were carved gemstones on bead form, and worn on a string as a necklace or bracelet. When a transaction occurred, the piece was rolled across soft clay to provide a necessary signature of sorts.
The piece featured here is approximately from 2000 B.C. Mesopotamia, worthy of a spot in a museum (though it got a pretty good deal as the star of this bracelet, if you ask me).
Courteille pays tribute to the ancient civilization with her choice of color here—green, blue, and black especially used in those times—with her use of turquoise, sapphire, onyx, and black diamonds, among other stones.
The animals, while also an homage to the time, bring a modern whimsy that Courteille is so revered for. “The bracelet is inspired by the frescoes of Persepolis which frequently shows lions and bulls in combat in the arena,” explains Courteille. It’s a testament to the designer’s talent that the creation feels like an ode to the past just as much as it does to the present, and even the future.
Top: Caravan bracelet in 18k yellow gold with green turquoise, blue turquoise, sapphire, onyx, ruby, diamonds, and Mesopotamian cylinder seal (circa 2000 B.C.), price on request; Lydia CourteilleFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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