Sotheby’s will host a selling exhibition to showcase the talents and craftsmanship of 21 Black jewelry designers—the first event of its kind—from Sept. 17-26 at its New York galleries.
Curated in partnership with Melanie
the luxury editor of The Economist’s lifestyle publication, 1843 Magazine, and author of Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewelry, the selling exhibition features approximately 60 pieces with prices ranging from US$1,500 to US$1 million.
“This show represents a shift in thinking from ‘African inspired’ to Black talent being the inspiration,” Grant said in a statement through Sotheby’s.”I think we’ll look back at this moment as a game changer, amplifying the often overlooked and sometimes underappreciated talents and stories of black jewelry designers.”
The artists represented include pioneers in the history of design such as
Winifred Mason Chenet,
as well as a pool of critically acclaimed designers such as
VANLELES, Castro NYC, ALMASIKA, Marei Fine Jewelry,
New York, Matturi Fine Jewellery,
Sheryl Jones Jewels,
Ten Thousand Things,
Each artist was asked to present two or three of their signature designs. “Their styles range from abstract modernism to gothic romanticism and the majority of them have never directly sold their jewelry at auction before,” Grant said.
Among the highlights of the selling exhibition, titled “Brilliant and Black: A Jewelry Renaissance,” is a rebel black ring with a 5.01-carat, pear-shaped color D diamond by Thelma West, a Nigerian-born jewelry designer. It’s price tag is US$400,000.
A pair of enchanted garden earrings featuring diamond, ruby, rose gold, and titanium by VANLELES, the namesake company of Guinea-Bissau-born, Lonon and New York-based jewelry designer
Leles. The pair is priced at US$108,270.
The pieces will be on view at Sotheby’s New York galleries at 1334 York Avenue from Sept, 17–26 and will be available for purchase on the spot or through Sotheby’s online marketplace Buy Now until Oct. 10.