Preview Biennale des Antiquaires Paris 2012

With the re-opening of the breathtaking and newly-refurbished Salon d’Honneur, an area within the Grand Palais, this year’s Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris promises to be the biggest yet. The Biennale will host for 150 exhibitors, nearly double the 86 present at the last event in 2010.

The 26th Biennale des Antiquaires runs from 14th September to the 23rd at the Grand Palais and alongside the world’s most exclusive antique and art dealers are ten of the most desirable jewellers including Cartier (Richemont Group), Chanel, Harry Winston, Boucheron (PPR Group), Piaget (Richemont Group), Van Cleef and Arpels (Richemont Group), Dior (LVMH Group) and for the first time ever Bulgari (LVMH Group) and Louis Vuitton. All of these houses will create their most refined jewels for this event which is the most important jewellery show of its kind. It is here that the most valuable jewels are showcased to the world’s most sophisticated and the richest clients.

This enclave of jewellers creates an avenue of gems that is always one of the busiest parts of the show. Each house creates a ‘mini maison’ and though all are different in their style, and sometimes their wild creativity – last Biennale Van Cleef & Arpels took us on journey with Jules Vernes – they are all opulently appointed and temples to luxury. Chanel always has a comfortable sofa and art work to create a soothing atmosphere in which to gaze at their diamond creations while Harry Winston whisks you straight into a New York mood.

The big names this year aren’t just on the show floor, but behind-the-scenes as this year organisers have lured fashion designer and decorative-arts lover Karl Lagerfeld to design and create the Biennale’s fantastical scenography. The man himself said “I wanted to emphasise the immensity and the splendour of the glass roof, which will be like a protective sky… it is a place I adore”. Lagerfeld sums up his approach when he says: “The era is different, I wanted to evoke, not reconstitute,” said Scenographer Karl Lagerfeld. “The intended effect is “that the visitor immediately feels enveloped by the atmosphere as soon as he enters the Grand Palais.”

Harry Winston will once again be the American in Paris, having had a boutique there since 1957 and a place at the Biennale since 1974. “At Harry Winston, we share in the same values of authenticity, exclusivity and a quest for the exceptional. We look forward to sharing a selection of our rarest and most spectacular designs with all the devotees of fine jewellery and art who will attend,” said Frédéric de Narp, President and CEO of Harry Winston, Inc. Expect to see this delicious sapphire and diamonds necklace stunningly realised this year, with 13 pear-cut sapphires, 146.71 carats; 225 brilliant, marquise, and pear-cut diamonds, 42.49 carats, all in a platinum setting.

Piaget Couture Précieuse Inspiration jewellery (Biennale des Antiquaires 2012 Paris)

For its second participation at Biennale des Antiquaires, Swiss watchmaker and jeweller Piaget will present its Couture Précieuse jewellery watches collection as well as Broderie des Diamants jewellery, the highlight being a necklace Gorgeous Embroidery, a most sophisticated creation which took over 800 hours to manufacture – in total 59 high jewellery pieces (of which 4 exceptional pieces) and 12 Haute Joaillerie watches.

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