"My work is about chaos and showing the beauty in it."
- Jean Vendome
Jean Vendome has never been one to conform to standards or repeat himself, once saying “multiples are the death of creativity in jewelry making.” His bold, sculptural pieces have transformed the way people looked at jewelry - making not just another necklace, but wearable art. Lot 92 in Freeman's November 2 Jewelry & Watches auction exemplifies the master's distinct approach to the artistry of jewelry making. Comprised of amethysts, diamonds and platinum in a chaotic and sculptural form, the piece takes the phrase "statement necklace" to an entirely new level.
Born Jean Tuhdarian in 1930 Lyon, France, Vendome displayed his creative talents from an early age, winning a scholarship in a Paris drawing competition in 1945. He had been an apprentice to his uncle, the Parisian Jeweler Der since he was 13. He broke out on his own at 18, stating in a 2012 interview with the New York Times, “I did not want to go on making the same flat, sweet, ‘comme il faut’ jewelry my uncle was producing."
Without any money to purchase gold or gemstones he would display the drawings of his own jewelry designs in the window of his first shop in a working-class neighborhood of Paris to inspire new clients to redesign their existing jewelry. By 1970 he was an acclaimed jeweler, moving to rue Saint-Honoré, near the Place Vendôme, a move that motivated him to change his name. Inspired by nature and the inherent beauty of the natural form, Vendome used unheard and unconventional materials like wood and malachite. Famous for his one-of-a-kind works, this jewelry artist has created nearly 37,000 avant-garde pieces. Guided by the lines of the female form, Vendome's designs are often large and formidable, but always complimentary to the relationship between the wearer's body and the gems that adorn it.
Freeman’s is proud to be offering this extraordinary amethyst and diamond necklace in our November 2 Jewelry & Watches auction. Its form, use of color and the raw amethyst crystals perfectly embody the spirit and beauty of Jean Vandome creations. Intimidating and chaotic, this work of art is worn with elegance and ease.
Image: An amethyst, diamond and platinum necklace, Jean Vendome. Abstract motif with rough amethyst crystals and set throughout with single and round brilliant-cut diamonds; total diamond weight approximately: 15.00 carats; French assay marks and maker's mark for Jean Vendome; accompanied by original fitted case. This piece sold for $27,500 in the 11/03/15 auction of Jewelry & Watches.