“Collecting Jewellery is both an emotional and intellectual pursuit”
After some years at LVMH and Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris, a stint in Jaipur to discover Mughal Heritage, Karine Zacharias has become a jewellery scout. Sourcing hidden treasures from private collectors all around the globe, the French-born, London-based gemologist (GIA) puts her energies into her talent for tracking down miniature works of art to serve her fellow jewellery aficionados. Passionate about Art Deco and 70s jewellery, she is also captivated by the history of the heritage pieces and stories around them. She tracks historical pieces, stylish vintage jewels, artist jewellery…to wear, collect and cherish, imparting the elusive “French Touch”. Zacharias has been a jewellery curator for exhibitions and contemporary design galleries including Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
“Our collection showcases influential, original and timeless designs from the 20th century with a focus on exquisite materiality, master craftsmanship and unparalleled artistry.”
Why collect jewellery, as opposed to other art or design objects? KZ: Pieces of fine jewellery are both works of art and objects of desire. They transform women; they enhance their beauty and their style. Some of them can be mystically charged with the powerful energy of their stones, others tell a story about a specific period of history or their wearer. What period most interests you personally? KZ: I like the Art Deco period myself. It represents liberated, feminine, and innovative women. New designs and materials, geometrical and bold shapes …it is so original and so contemporary. I also focus on the second half of the 20th century, where we see trends in jewellery coincide with a social and economic booming, the liberation of the woman, and we can find more arty and design pieces completely wearable today. I find myself gravitating toward the 1970s. The pieces are very artistic, featuring a mix of wood and gold, enamel, hard coloured stones. The designs are simple, artistic, androgynous, and very elegant at the same time. What advice would you give to a collector who is just starting out? KZ: First of all, choose a piece you like: Emotion is very important! To start, it is easier to go with a signed piece from a famous jewellery house or designer. Read up on the house’s history to understand its story and its major designs. But don’t be afraid to take reasonable risks if you want to have a very individual collection which reflects your personality. What is your dream item that you desire but do not yet have? KZ: Too many, unfortunately! If only I had all the pieces by Suzanne Belperron…stored in a huge Faberge egg! But I also have accessible dreams, too – it’s always a thrill to find 70s stylish pieces from Van Cleef, Cartier, the Brazilian Burle Marx and also the French Catherine Noll.