Tag Archives: Diamonds

The ‘Moon of Baroda’ is a girl’s best friend

Kunsthandel Inez Stodel’s Fall Exhibition 24 September – 2 October

Kunsthandel Inez Stodel cordially invites you to our Fall Exhibition.

We will show our latest acquisitions and artworks by Philip Sajet for the occasion of OPEN! 2010 in the Spiegelkwartier in Amsterdam.

Opening hours:
24 September until 2 October : 11.00 – 17.00
On Saturday 25 September the artist, Philip Sajet, will be present
Monday 27 September closed

Philip Sajet

In 1977 – when the first snow fell – Philip Sajet first decided to make jewellery. Nine years later he had his first solo exhibition and now his work is shown at Kunsthandel Inez Stodel for Sajet’s 39th solo exhibition. At our special request Philip has made many of his most famous jewels, such as the Palette Necklace and the Harlequin Ring. Philip Sajet was born in 1953 in Amsterdam.

His father was Dutch, but his mother, whose father was a jeweller in Paris, came from France. A few years ago Sajet and his wife moved to the South of France, where they are both goldsmith. Sajet has his own vision of his craft “Jewels are small objects that you wear on the skin, cheer you up, adorn us and to show our necessary vanity”. In his clearly defined area of rings, necklaces and earrings Sajet shows us his groundbreaking designs. Sajet is honored that his work is shown in a jewellery loving environment for the first time.

We have chosen Philip Sajet because his jewels are works of art that show a lot of craftsmanship, love and humour. They are contemporary but go back to the basis of the art of jewellery. You will see large minerals, glass and pearls with a lot of colored enamel. The shape of diamonds often returns in different guises. For us there are many surprises, not only in Sajet’s view of his craft but also in how he gives this expression.

In 2011, the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn will stage a Sajet retrospective.

Moon of Baroda by Philip Sajet

The Moon of Baroda by Philip Sajet is an 18 carat gold ring, set with seven cabochon flints and a pear cut citrine of circa 24 carats. Sajet was inspired by the pear shaped canary yellow diamond from India with the same name.

Marilyn Monroe and the Moon of Baroda

The original Moon of Baroda of 24.04 carats was owned by the Maharajas of Baroda for 500 years before it was bought by Meyer Rosenbaum, director of Meyer Jewellery Company, in 1920. The diamond was borrowed to the most extraordinary Hollywood movie star of all times, Marilyn Monroe for her performance of Diamonds are a girl’s best friend in the legendary movie Gentlemen prefer blondes. In real life Marilyn did not own real diamonds.

Marilyn sings Diamonds are a girl’s best friend


Art & Love at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Victoria & Albert: Art & Love

This major exhibition runs from 19 March to 31 October 2010. The exhibition focusses on the unique partnership of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their shared enthusiasm for art from the time of their engagement in 1839 to the Prince’s early death in 1861.

For Victoria and Albert, art was an important part of everyday life and a way they expressed their love for each other.  Around a third of the objects in the exhibition were exchanged as gifts between the couple to mark special occasions. They range from the simple, romantic and sentimental jewelry to superb jewels and other great art, such as an early Italian painting, including Bernardo Daddi’s The Marriage of the Virgin, given by the Queen to the Prince for his birthday in 1846.

The orange blossom jewelry

This is the fitted box and the original blossom brooch. This gold and porcelain blossom was one of the first gifts Prince Albert gave his fiancee. The box is inscribed “Sent to me by dear Albert from Wiesbaden Novr. 1839”. It has the form of a sprig of orange blossom which flower is traditionally associated with engagement. At the wedding the Queen wore sprays of real orange blossom in her hair and on her bodice. The Prince continued to give Victoria orange blossom jewelry, eventually creating a beautiful parure, parts of which she always wore on their wedding anniversary.

The fitted box for the original orange blossom brooch is inscribed  'Sent to me by dear Albert from Wiesbaden Novr. 1839'

The ‘Tibur Ruby’ necklace was made for Queen Victoria by R. & S. Garrard & Co. in 1853

The Koh-i-nûr diamond, the most famous gem from the Lahore Treasury, came directly to Queen Victoria from India in 1850, other significant jewels remained with the East India Company for the Great Exhibition. In recognition of the Queen’s patronage of the Exhibition, the Directors of the Company presented her with a magnificent selection of stones, of which the ‘wonderful’ rubies ‘cabochons, unset, but pierced’ particularly struck her: ‘one is the largest in the world, therefore even more remarkable than the Koh-i-noor’. This, the so-called Timur Ruby, which weighs 352.5 carats, together with three smaller stones – all of which are actually spinels rather than rubies – were set by Garrards into a new necklace of Oriental inspiration in April 1853. In June of the same year the necklace was adapted so that the re-cut Koh-i-nûr could occasionally take the place of the Timur Ruby; and in 1858 three of the five pendant diamonds originally attached to the centre of the necklace were made detachable for alternative use, two as earrings and the central pendant (the Lahore Diamond) as the centre of the Coronation Necklace.

The history of the stone, with its illustrious provenance from the Mughal Emperors Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb and Farrukhsiyar, and the Persian rulers Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah, is partly recorded in inscriptions dating between 1612 and 1771 on the stone itself. The connection with the great Asian conqueror Timur (1336-1408), which arose from a misreading in the early twentieth century of one of the inscriptions, has recently been reconsidered, and it is now thought possible that Nadir Shah, who looted the stone from the imperial treasury in Delhi in February 1739, may have placed his inscription over an erased inscription proclaiming Timur’s ownership.

Tobias Wong’s Dadaist jewels

Last month the artist Tobias Wong died. Wong suffered from insomnia and did extreme and crazy thing while sleepwalking all his life.  Sadly now he has killed himself in one of his sleepwalking escapades. We are very sorry.

Tobias Wong was the creator of a lot of humorous and provocative jewels and designs that question concepts like luxury and consumerism in the art world that promotes luxury. Even though I take adornments seriously and don’t find them superfluous often, artists like Wong give us the opportunity to look at jewellery in a different way. Here are some of those exceptions:

Ballistic Rose

Wong made a classical decorative corsage out of bulletproof fabric. A high-tech talisman that will protect your heart in an uncertain world.

The Diamond Project

This project entailed series of diamond-based concept art; a diamond screensaver, a rubber bouncing ball infused with 2 carats of micro diamonds and hidden diamond ring with the stone on the inside rather than on top of  it.  The ring challenges problem young lovers encounter when they have to buy big stones with their fiancees – in the US that is! In the Netherlands we don’t have this problem. Diamond wedding rings are given as engagement rings and engagement rocks are for later in life or for some too decadent to even look at. For this the hidden diamond ring is a common known and serious design in The Netherlands, where in the US it is a joke.

Killer Engagement Ring

Is the diamond in this engagement ring a Perfect Cut or not? Who cares, because there is no (need for) fire or brilliance in this killer ring. A one carat diamond ring with its pavilion up, so that the sharp culet can function as weapon, since diamond is the hardest stone on earth with which you can really hurt someone. Apart from a weapon Wong’s engagement ring could serve as a stylish and effective means of scratching your cheating ex-fiance’s car.

Indulgences collection


Wong created this collection with fashion designer Ken Courtney of Just Another Rich Kid. The project commented on todays consumer culture where everything is being turned into a luxury item. What do you give a person who already has everything? Instead of gilt toothbrushes, this collection featured the ultimate luxury and unnecessary goods: Cokespoons made out of everyday objects that can be used to scoop cocaine.. They made bronze replicas of Bic pen caps plated in 18K gold, gilt bronze replicas of McDonald’s coffee sticks commonly used as a coke spoon in the 1970s and eventually discontinued upon request from U.S. drug enforcement officials.

Gold Pills

Another indulgence were these 24K gold leaf capsule pills only intended to consume and digest.

“diamonds vs. black” for Colette Meets Comme des Garçons

In this Japanese and French collaborated exhibition, Wong showed diamond-embedded dimes, and Tiffany & Co. cultured pearl earings dipped in black rubber. One special edition of Comme des Garçons perfume featured diamonds floating within the fragrance.


On 19 June 2010 Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has married her former fitness trainer, Daniel Westling. He will be HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland from now on. It was a lovely and extravagant ceremony. What a feast to see this marriage. I had no difficulty choosing between the soccer game and Victoria!

It is the first wedding of a female successor to the throne in the list of Swedish monarchs. The monarchy in Sweden dates back more than 1,000 years. The current Bernadotte family, with King Carl XVI Gustaf as king, originates from 1810 when French Marshall Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was chosen successor to the Swedish throne by Parliament, but now for the tiara’s……

Cameo tiara

Victoria wore a cream-colored gown with short sleeves and an endless train designed by Pär Engsheden that looked like marzipan. And just like her mother Silvia at her wedding in 1976, she wore the Cameo tiara, made of gold, pearls and 7 large hard stone cameos depicting mythological figures. In the centre there’s the crowning of love (mother and child), flanked by portrait-cameos of a man and a woman aim their sight. On the backside portrait-cameo’s are interchanged with a godess who has a putti on her lap (caretaker) and a man with a staff  (guard).

Cameo tiara history & tradition

Amongst other jewels, this Empire cameo tiara which is part of a parure was brought into the family by Queen Josefine princess of Leuchtenberg when she married Crown Prince Oscar (the future King Oscar I) in 1823. Josefine was the granddaughter of Empress Josephine. The parure was made for Josephine around 1809 by Marie-Etienne Nitot, who was Napoleon’s jeweller and founder of the jewellery house Chaumet. With the next generation of the Bernadottes, the tiara was owned by Queen Josefina’s daughter Princess Eugénie, who in turn left the tiara to her nephew Prince Eugen. The prince gave the tiara to Princess Sibylla on her marriage to Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1932. The King was left the tiara by his mother.The King’s sister, Princess Birgitta, started the tradition when she chose Queen Josefina’s cameo tiara as her bridal crown for her wedding with Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in 1961. Princess Désirée also wore it in 1964 and so did Queen Silvia in 1976. Read more on the King’s sisters jewels at Victoria’s wedding here.

Empress Josephine’s Emerald and diamond tiara

Queen Sonja of Norway wore a coral-colored dress along with the Empress Josephine of France emerald and diamond tiara that also came into the family through Queen Josefine of Sweden.

Braganca tiara

Queen Silvia of Sweden wore a bright pink dress to match the stunning Empire parure of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. All diamonds and Brazilian pink topazes made around 1804. Also she wore the diamond Braganca tiara. This is the biggest tiara of the Swedish royal family which once belonged to Empress Amalie of Brazil the sister of Queen Josefine of Sweden.

Maxima & Beatrix

Our Princess Maxima wore beautiful simple diamond rivière necklace and a diamond bandeau. Possibly the rivière necklace that the Dutch people gave Queen Emma as a wedding present in 1879.

Queen Beatrix wore the Mellerio ruby and diamond tiara which was a gift from King Willem III to his second wife, Queen Emma in 1889. It is part of a parure by Jeweler Mellerio dits Meller from Paris. It is the most complete parure in the Orange-Nassau collection. It consists of 7 jewels. Queen Juliana was very fond of this parure and has worn it often, so does Maxima today.

Enchanted Rings

Another travelling exhibition is that of the Enchanted Rings (De BetoveRING). These rings can be seen from June 27th 2010 to August 29th at the Museum of Enamel and Glass Art in Ravenstein, The Netherlands.

The Dutch Society of Gold- and Silver smiths (VGZ) and the Dutch Board for Craft Trades (HBA) have organized the 4th annual design contest for gold- and silversmiths, with Enchanted Rings (De BetoveRING) as its theme. 18 out of 78 designs were nominated. As the theme prescribes they all have to do with fairytales.

We see frogs, castles, dancing shoes, caleidoscopes, ponds, waterlillies, secret compartments, see troughs and wonderful craftmanship. Winner of the contest was Eva Theuerzeit of Brans Almelo BV. Theuerzeit’s ring features a highly detailed fantasy landscape surrounding an aquamarine pond.

Third runner up was Joeri Dijkman from Metal Art in Alkmaar. Joeri’s music ring is my personal favorite; a ring with a very industrial look to it that is part of a melody box. The ring is also the heart of the design because the positioning of the diamonds (up side down!) and the cabochon ruby defines the melody of the music box. Other materials used were black zirconium, steel, titanium and wood. The music box cost EUR 7000,- and up. The tune it plays was composed by harpist Klaartje Broers. Click below to see and hear Joeri demonstrate his ring!

goldsmith Bartholomeus Jansz van Assendelft with octahedron diamond ring and touchstone

Bartholomeus Jansz van Assendelft

This painting by Werner van den Valckert is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It shows a portrait of Bartholomeus Jansz van Assendelft (Leiden, 1586-1659). He is leaning out of a window, in his right hand he holds a ring with a large octahedron and in his left hand he holds a touchstone. Both objects are clues that point to his profession as a goldsmith. Van Assendelft’s left hand is brightly lit, which draws your attention to the touchstone, which also shows off his honorable function as judge of his guild. And on the touchstone the painter signed his work: We read W v Valckert fe 1617.

Werner van den Valckert

Van den Valckert was a mysterious person in history and his name is not found in the registers after 1627. He became a member of the painters Guild of St. Luke in the Hague between 1600-1605. From this we can assume that he was born around 1580-1585. We can conclude that by 1614 he had moved to Amsterdam, because his daughter was baptized there. His earliest dated prints are from 1612. His surviving paintings are historical allegories and portraits. Van den Valckert also made a prestigious schutterstuk, which features the Amsterdam major Albert Burgh. According to his biographer Arnold Houbraken, Van den Valckert was a student of Hendrik Goltzius.


A touchstone is a small tablet of dark siliceous stone (such as fieldstone, slate, or lydite) used for assaying precious metal alloys. It has a finely grained surface on which soft metals like gold, leave a visible trace. Assaying by touch was one of the earliest methods used to measure gold alloys. You draw a line with gold of your jewel on the stone. This can leave a scratch on the jewel if you have to remove any upper gilt layers. Alongside the drawing you make another scratch of known gold samples. Then the traces of gold are treated with acids that dissolve impurities. The trace will react differently to specific concentrations of nitric acid applied, and by this you measure the gold content of the jewel. The color of the reacted area is compared to that of the reference sample. A 14 carat (or any lower carat) gold jewel will show chemical activity and dissolve when tested with 18 carat gold acid, but when the trace is not affected it can be identified as 18 Carat gold (this means 750/1000 gold and 250/1000 other materials; copper, nickel, zinc).

A complicated detailed operation to achieve a beautiful result!

Octahedron ring and the meaning of adamas

An octahedron is one of the diamond’s natural crystal shapes. And the ring that Van Assendelft is holding clearly contains an octahedron cut stone. We see a piece of glass or a rock crystal, but most likely a diamond. Diamonds crystallize as octahedrons, cubes, or dodecahedrons. Try to scrabble that! It sometimes shows habits that contain two or more of these forms. But the octahedron is one of the rarest forms.

16th century Moghul ring with octahedron diamond

The word diamond originates from adamas which means invincible in Greek. The first adamas came from India and were hardly cut. Because of their beauty and strength, they were worshiped as talismans, and cutting a diamond would not benefit its strength. The Europeans changed this point of view, in order to bring out the fire and brilliance of diamonds. Symmetrical octahedrons, very rare rough crystals, were the first to be polished or cut – in a pyramidal diamond like the one in van Assendelft’s ring. One pyramid is completely hidden in the shank of the ring, the top part is shown.

Quite fantastic to look at and even more to carry! I also love this 16th century Moghul ring with a cinnamon octahedron diamond that we sold a few years ago.

the Taylor-Burton, diamond or not?

Ron van der Ende: Flawless 2007 Bas-relief in reclaimed timbers

Ron van der Ende Taylor-Burton 2009 bas-relief in salvaged wood

This fantastic bas-relief by Ron van der Ende is a 1.5 meter broad wooden copy of the Taylor-Burton diamond.

Richard Burton gave this pear cut diamond of 69.42 carat to Elisabeth Taylor in 1969.

Which stone do you prefer? The diamond or the relief mosaic of wood, nails and glue?