From Lair to Luxury: Lotus Arts de Vivre’s Magic Dragon



At Lotus Arts de Vivre, materials are made for mixing. The family-run jewelry and household goods manufacturer is based in Bangkok but maintains a global following among the cognoscenti, who adore its utterly original combinations of precious metals and gems with organic ingredients such as ebony wood, shells, and scarab wings. The ethos underlying Lotus’ flair for fusion has its roots in Asian, and especially Thai, culture, which has long celebrated beauty in all its myriad forms. This baroque bangle, for example—inspired by an ancient Chinese legend about the dragon’s power to provoke change—is the ­product of a rich blend of esoteric techniques that required more than three months to complete. The piece, which retails for $80,200, is one of a kind, though it has spawned a few lookalikes. “We have tried to create a semi-repeatable range with interchangeable heads, and we try to use different materials on the body,” says chairman Rolf von Bueren. “The biggest challenge is the weight—keeping the pieces light and wearable.”

Eastern Promises

The carved sterling silver head of the dragon—with its ruby cabochon eyes, tsavorite-studded texture, and golden fangs—may look fearsome, but von Bueren insists the mythical beast is anything but: “Unlike the Western dragon, the Far Eastern dragon is a benevolent creature, renowned for its courage, strength, wisdom, and goodness. He represents the East and the beginning of the Earth’s day.”

Ice Age

When it comes to diamonds, von Bueren prefers the muted, gauzy glow of opaque “iced diamonds” over stones with crystal-clear good looks. “Iced diamonds are very fashionable in the world right now,” he says. “Lotus travels far to select the best for their creations.”

Touch Wood

“Lotus uses 18 karat gold wire in ebony wood,” says von Bueren, adding that inlay—the technique used to fashion the bulk of the bangle—has been practiced in China, India, Thailand, and Turkey for millennia. “The wood wears so beautifully and seems to release power and wellness into the skin of the owner.”