If you move inside the Tiffany Landmark retailer at 57th and Fifth at just the proper second, you will spot a diamond Jean Schlumberger chicken traveling across a display screen. If you miss it, the authentic point sits atop an tremendous amethyst in a vitrine just techniques absent. One more is perched on a kunzite, 1 on a citrine, 1 on an aquamarine, and a further on what may possibly be morganite. That’s only the primary flooring. On the fourth there’s a devoted Schlumberger place, and on the seventh, the ground that showcases Tiffany High Jewelry, Schlumberger dominates. At the opening of the Landmark in New York in May well, a lot more than 30 noteworthy guests wore his parts, like the 3 guys guiding the entire affair, Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany CEO Anthony Ledru, and architect Peter Marino. Schlumberger, in reality, is the sole inspiration for Out of the Blue, the new Blue Ebook selection, which is the initially absolutely understood 1 due to the fact LVMH acquired the model.
Why the huge Tiffany wager on this wildly imaginative Frenchman and his bejeweled passerines? Since significant bets are in Tiffany’s blood. Witness the Landmark by itself. As Tiffany clientele moved uptown, in 1940 it moved with them, but alternatively of just a storefront on freshly trendy Fifth Avenue, it commandeered the complete corner. When Charles Lewis Tiffany went to purchase the French crown jewels for his provenance-hungry American clientele, he didn’t select up a couple—he bought just about a third of the tons. When he employed George Kunz in 1879, he didn’t hope the famed gemologist to discover really stones, he entrusted him to scour the planet for ones that hadn’t even been found out nonetheless.
Charles’s son Louis Comfort Tiffany went equally whole tilt on mother nature in both his glasswork and his jewelry style, and per family members tradition he embraced rare and unforeseen stones that mimicked nature’s irregular magnificence. In a single corner of the primary ground of the Landmark, not significantly from the Basquiat, the Medusa necklace intended by Louis Convenience in 1902 sits powering glass. The company acquired it for its possess archives in 2021 for a documented $3.65 million. Stand ahead of it and observe the wildness of its gold borders, the generous use of opal and demantoid garnet. It has been explained as a depiction of the “opalescent glow of the jellyfish in its Medusa cycle.” In 1967 Schlumberger famously produced a brooch for his client Bunny Mellon right after she was stung by a sea creature: a jellyfish.
It becomes effortless to see how, when he was recruited by Tiffany’s visionary chairman, Walter Hoving, in 1956, Schlumberger match correct in. In its audacity and wit and predilection for unforeseen stones, as perfectly as his creative concentrate on the organic entire world, his perform tells the whole story of Tiffany, a person that is normally obscured by the image of Audrey Hepburn nibbling chicly on a croissant, or by a silver coronary heart on a chain.
“His get the job done is the purest definition of Tiffany Superior Jewellery. Character and stones are at the coronary heart of every thing we do. He introduced his resourceful mind devoid of losing the integrity of the brand and what we stood for. The fowl is scaled-down than the rock,” Ledru suggests, referring to Schlumberger’s iconic design and style and underlining Tiffany’s heritage of finding unusual and uncommon stones, which began with Kunz. “His proportions are pretty much supernatural. It is not about perfection, which helps make them modern day they can move from just one century to a further.” The concept of the fluidity of the years, the decades, is central. The Out of the Blue collection is rooted in the Schlumberger archives and aesthetic, but it imagines his eyesight leaping into the 21st century.
“What would Schlumberger do now?” was the prompt. “We both preserved and magnified the fundamentals of Jean Schlumberger’s aesthetic, keeping legitimate to our heritage although reinventing it,” claims Nathalie Verdeille, main artistic officer for jewellery and high jewellery. “Today, thanks to the know-how of our artisans and modern-day innovations, we have achieved the after impossible. There is nothing at all additional contemporary than pushing boundaries and building with a passion to take a look at the unknown. This strategy was, of program, shut to Schlumberger’s heart as very well.”
What he had was a radical creativity. What he did not have: cuprian elbaite tourmaline. The coloured stones that have been uncovered due to the fact Schlumberger’s death are just one part of the evolution obvious in Out of the Blue. Visualize what he may have finished with that tourmaline. What would he make of a thing like sonoranite? Also critical are the applications of 21st-century craftsmanship, notably 3D wax designs that permit his signature exaggerations to be even extra intricately realized—and extra user-pleasant. All those Schlumberger fish bracelets can be very heavy, but now quantity can be tackled and balanced. The technical virtuosity of each individual piece is amplified if a little something is not perfect, the designer can see that proper away in a 3D product and modify it.
Out of the Blue is the biggest Blue Ebook selection at any time: 70 pieces unveiled this summer months and one more 67 coming in the fall. The stones in its pieces are all procured by hand and all minimize to healthy. All the rubies, sapphires, and emeralds in the Blue Reserve are untreated, a position of justified pleasure. “In Schlumberger’s imagination and style and design philosophy,” says Verdeille, who joined Tiffany in 2021, “the sea represented an not known, infinite planet. His jewels are microcosms. Out of the Blue attracts inspiration from that, then reinvents this universe. It is a deep dive into aquatic lifetime.”
There is, legitimate to Tiffany and Schlumberger type, a jellyfish brooch with a cushion-cut unenhanced blue sapphire of a lot more than 8 carats. A diamond convertible seashell pendant, whose three-dimensional architecture and perform is testomony to today’s complex wizardry, opens to expose a pear-shaped cabochon black opal of extra than 21 carats. In a chapter of the collection known as Pisces, brooches are decorated with extraordinary padparadscha sapphires, diamonds, and rubellites. Just one of the most bold of the pieces is a star urchin bib necklace of hand-carved chalcedony spikes punked out with 59 carats of tanzanite. “I hope he would be very pleased,” Ledru claims.
The selection is also a statement on the position of large jewelry at Tiffany. “If you excel at this you excel at everything,” Ledru provides. “It is the supreme dream, the championship recreation. There can be no compromise.” That’s why the Landmark’s seventh ground pays tribute to the artisans who make it all attainable with a window into their follow. And it is why in April LVMH acquired what has been described as the most vital workshop in Paris, which will enhance the capacity to generate these intricate handcrafted parts and extend the selection of les mains functioning on them, allowing for much more jewelry and much more elaborate realizations. What would Schlumberger do? We shall see.
This story appears in the Summertime 2023 challenge of City & Nation.
Editor In Chief
Editor-in-Chief Stellene Volandes is a jewelry specialist, and the author of Jeweler: Masters and Mavericks of Contemporary Style (Rizzoli).