Ruby and jadeite brooches…dazzling diamond phoenixes… dangling dancing lions… These exotic motifs offer a tantalising glimpse of the Eastern-inspired motifs currently beguiling many haute joaillerie labels. In a fortunately festive twist, ruby reds and emerald greens – long regarded as the most auspicious colours in Chinese cultural circles – feature prominently in these collections. Although visually varied, each item is distinguished by a touch of the ornately Oriental and a clear passion for sheer opulence. Hong Kong-based Qeelin has released a set of earrings fit for the hostess of even the most affluent of New Year celebrations. Featuring a striking dancing lion motif, these 18-carat rose gold earrings are available in both a dangle and stud style, with diamonds and onyx beautifully complementing this most precious of metals.
While ostensibly taking its inspiration from the biblical tale of Noah and his ark, Van Cleef & Arpels’ new collection of gem-encrusted animal brooches leaves enough open to interpretation to intrigue any true Sinophile. Rich in more local folklore association, the Phoenix brooch – with its stunning white gold, diamonds, onyx, mother-of-pearl and ruby inlaid clip – will have a particular appeal to many Chinese purchasers.
Similarly steeped in Sino-symbolism is Cartier’s seal watch-brooch, with its emblematic image of a Buddhist lion and stunning use of many of the gemstones that characterise traditional Asian jewellery. These most notably include jadeite and rubies, but not without a generous sprinkling of onyx, enamel, gold and diamonds. Concealed neatly within a 19th-century Chinese jade seal, the piece forms part of the Jade – From Emperors to Art Déco collection.
Rounding out the collection with a more understated hymn of praise to the wonders of the East is the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Orchids motif watch. The centerpiece of the watch is a beguiling recreation of three rare orchids, flowers native to Asia and widely regarded as symbols of perfection and nobility. Given the timepiece’s 18-carat yellow gold, mother-of-pearl and diamond housing, the symbolism couldn’t be more apt.