Masterpiece 2017 – The jewellery that dazzled us

We were very lucky to be invited to the last day of Masterpiece 2017 by renowned jeweller Theo Fennell on Wednesday, formed in 2010, it has now become one of the most renowned events in fine art, jewellery and antiquity.

The coveted event was held within the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital, the retirement and nursing home for veterans of the British Army, so we decided to take a quick detour at their museum before walking down to the event. And were we impressed. The small wing of the hospital greeted us with some huge paintings of Queen Elizabeth and the Battle of Waterloo that craned our necks in order for us to take in all the detail.

After walking through the red carpet entrance and presenting our ticket, we were immediately presented with the booth belonging to the Royal Warranted Wartski, who are famous for their fabergé work. We sampled a few of their clips, bracelets, and broaches, all of which originated from around the 1930’s and 40’s. Every piece bounced beautiful bursts of shimmering light as we held them and really set the standard for the rest of the other jewellery exhibits we saw. The second piece that really caught our attention was the Mherulisa transformable necklace presented by Van Cleef & Arpels, who jewellery has been collected and worn by the likes of the late Princess of Monaco and style icon Elizabeth Taylor.  The 35.27 carat Mozambique garnet necklace we were told is actually transformable, as its pearls can be replaced with whatever gemstones you think fit.


The enchanting necklace had an equally stunning ring to complement it


Finally, we couldn’t visit Masterpiece without visiting the Theo Fennell exhibition and this was where our jaws went from hanging to falling on the ground. Placed on their centre table was their iconic silver pig truffle grater, surrounded by with the rump acting as the grater and the trough collecting the truffle flakes. What really impressed us was when we were shown the microscopic sculpture of the Taj Mahal (we’d take a picture of it but you wouldn’t be able to see it!) It was exquisitely detailed, not only in its presentation but also in its design process. For instance, the maker, Willard Wigan, would time his heartbeat with each detail he made to avoid making a mistake. We had the opportunity to chat to Mr Fennell himself, and he discussed how he got the opportunity to design the trophies for the Italian and the Monaco Grand Prix. He also talked about the bespoke/custom service they offer and is something we can arrange for you if you desire a custom piece from Theo Fennell.


The silver pig truffle grater would cost around £7,000 we were told.




Fun Fact: The Duke of Wellington + Napoleon both wore Brequet watches at the Battle of Waterloo.


Next Sunday, we’re continuing our Masterpiece coverage with a look at some of the paintings and antiquities, head to our Instagram to find out more. Stay tuned.


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