JAR: Elusive Trendsetter

When actress Ellen Barkin announced last fall that she was unloading her trinkets from ex-husband Ron Perelman at Christie’s, the media buzz surrounding the sale did not focus on the vintage treasures from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels or those once owned by the Duchess of Windsor. The buzz was about 17 pieces by a contemporary designer, a guy from the Bronx who goes by the acronym JAR. Many articles about JAR appeared after the sale was announced, but the designer himself did not speak. Not a word of his was quoted. This surprised no one in the jewelry industry, where JAR has long been known for his elusiveness. When Joel Arthur Rosenthal opened his little shop on the Place Vendôme in Paris 30 years ago, he had no jewelry training. He graduated from Harvard in 1965 with a degree in art history and philosophy and moved to Paris the following year. He has never done bench work
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