Coming Attractions: The Best of Fall’s Cultural-Jewelry Happenings

It’s early August, but professionally speaking, I’m deep into the fall season (at JCK, we’re already assigning our November issue!). Mark your calendars for a terrific onslaught of culture—jewelry-style—coming your way starting next month.

Sept. 19: “Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking” opens at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

The seminal exhibition on Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747–1823)—the man considered by many to be “watchmaking’s one true genius,” in the words of contemporary watchmaker François-Paul Journe—collects some 80 objects, from pocket watches to carriage clocks to wristwatches, that convey “the precision and prestige” associated with the Breguet watch in the 19th century, according to curator Martin Chapman. The exhibition runs through Jan. 10, 2016.

Courtesy Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

A replica of a pocket watch designed by 18th-century watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet for Marie Antoinette, which features an automatic date, equation of time, power reserve, metallic thermometer, large independent seconds hand and small direct-drive seconds, gold case, rock crystals dial, and gold and steel hands, from the Collection Montres Breguet S.A.

Oct. 6: Release date for The Clasp, essayist Sloane Crosley’s first novel, based on The Necklace, a 19th-century short story by Guy de Maupassant.

In February, Crosley reached out to me via email to give me the heads-up about the book. “One of the narrators works for a demanding independent jewelry designer in the Meatpacking District, and another gets caught up searching for a 200-year-old necklace,” she wrote. “The book is a comic love triangle that takes place in Miami, New York, L.A., Paris, and Normandy and gets pretty detailed about the jewelry world.”

Stay tuned for my review of Crosley’s clever tale of desire and duplicity—even the JCK show gets a mention!

Courtesy Amazon.com

The Clasp by Sloane Crosley 

Oct. 18-22: Dubai Watch Week opens.

Middle Eastern retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons has partnered with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) on a series of forums, presentations, and panel discussions designed to transform the Middle East into a hub of the fine timepiece trade and make Dubai Watch Week “a leading platform for education, debate, and discovery into the world’s most innovative and covetable timepieces,” Abdulhamied Seddiqi, vice chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, said in a statement.

If the stars align, I’m hoping to attend this event. It’s been nine years since my last trip to Dubai, but it may as well have been the last century. What happens in the Gulf’s dynamic luxury retail playground is worth sharing—crossing my fingers that I have the opportunity to report from the trenches.

Nov. 21: “Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection” opens at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Sponsored by Wartski and curated by Susan Stronge, senior curator in the museum’s Asian department, the exhibition will present around 100 objects—from precious gems collected by Mughal emperors to jewels created by Cartier that honor and reinterpret the Indian jewelry tradition.

According to the museum’s press officer, Laura Mitchell, the highlights include:

  • An Indian turban jewel made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar set with large diamonds
  • Magnificent unmounted precious stones including a Golconda diamond given to Queen Charlotte by the Nawab of Arcot, South India in 1767
  • A jade-hilted dagger that belonged to the 17th-century emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal
  • A jeweled gold tiger’s head finial from the throne of the famed Tipu Sultan of Mysore
  • And renowned jewels from the early 20th century by Cartier and those designed by Paul Iribe
The exhibition runs through March 28, 2016.
 
Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum
 
A turban ornament from the Al Thani Collection, on display at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum starting Nov. 21