I'M SO FASCINATED BY THIS SKILLFULLY, ARTICULATING DESIGNER THAT I NEED TO SHARE MORE PHOTOS AFTER SEEING THE EXHIBIT AT THE MET TWICE. AND I PLAN TO GO AGAING…. HE JAR IS CONSIDERED THE FABERGE OF THE MOMENT… I MUST ADMITT I AGREE, THESE PHOTOS ARE WONDERFUL BUT THE TRUE BEAUTY IS GETTING THE CHANCE TO BE "UP CLOSE & PERSONAL" IF YOU CAN COME ON OVER, YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED I PROMISE.
BELOW AN ARTICLE BY BARBARA AMIEL THAT SHOWS YOU WHAT THE EXHIBIT LOOKS LIKE AND SOME HISTORY TO BOOT.
Bedazzled by the gems of JAR
His jewellery puts the glitter on the glitterati. As a stunning new exhibition opens, Barbara Amiel talks to the elusive Joel Arthur Rosenthal
The Man Known as JAR
December 27, 2008 by Administrator
Joel Arthur Rosenthal affects to be known by a single name: JAR (no periods). His shop in Paris’ Place Vendôme has no display window, no regular hours. It does not advertise and opens its doors to only a select few, including Elizabeth Taylor, Elle Macpherson, Barbara Walters, Ann Getty, Mary Pinault and Jo Carole Lauder (and reportedly Marie-Josée Kravis, Marella Agnelli and Princess Firyal of Jordan).
According to a report by Forbes, the craftsmen in Switzerland and France who make is jewelry produce only 70 to 80 pieces a year, each of them one of a kind and many designed with a particular buyer in mind. JAR reserves the right to refuse to sell an item if he doesn’t think it will look good on the intended wearer. His creations often sell for twice what the first buyer paid.
Rosenthal graduated from Harvard in 1966, then moved to Paris. He dabbled first in scriptwriting, then needlepoint, opening a tiny shop where he experimented with unusually colored yarn. Its clientele included designers from Hermès and Valentino. Rosenthal one day was asked if he could design a mount for a gemstone. That sent his career in a new direction. After a brief stint as a salesman at Bulgari in New York he returned to Paris in 1977 and started designing pieces that relied at first on inexpensive stones like coral, moonstone, and minute colored diamonds.
He focused on pavé, a technique for setting small stones so close together that they look paved with jewels. His settings are so finely wrought as to be virtually invisible, and gradations of color progress from subtle to vivid. Unlike other jewelers, he uses a dark metal alloy for the settings to highlight the gems’ color.
Only twice has Rosenthal displayed his jewels to the public, most recently in London in 2002. Four hundred pieces lent by 145 JAR faithful were crowded into small vitrines. He insisted that the lights be dimmed and that flashlights be given to his guests, who groped and gaped their way from case to case.
Considering how hard hit the Beverly Hills community now is by the current economy, you just might find the unthinkable, a JAR piece in a high-end pawn shop. If you do, and happen to have an unusually large amount of money to spare, a JAR piece would certainly be a glamorous piece to add to your investment portfolio.
Spotlight On: JAR JewelryBy Raymondleejewelers
Joel Arthur Rosenthal may be the master jewelry artisan of our era, and yet you have probably never heard of him. Before you start feeling bad to have overlooked him, don’t bother: his mass obscurity is entirely by his own design. Which is not to say he’s wallowing in ignominy. Rather, Rosenthal’s name is perhaps the best kept secret of the world’s very rich and very famous.
A Contemporary Fabergé
Blackened silver, 18k gold, sapphire, and diamond earrings by JAR, Paris via Diamonds in the Library
Working under the moniker JAR, this mysterious Bronx-born recluse has been described as the modern-day Peter Fabergé by Diane Von Furstenberg. A Harvard grad, he got his start as an aspiring screenwriter, then dabbled in a number of other career options before landing–serendipitously–in the jewelry business.
Diamond ‘String’ Ring
Over the past 30 years, JAR’s renown artistry has given him unparalleled status among the celebrity set and industry elite. He keeps shop in Paris with no signage, display or operating hours, and the doors are open only to the upper echelons of high society: Elizabeth Taylor, Ann Getty, and Jo Carole Lauder are among the fashionable few who have been granted rare access. With workshops in Switzerland and France, JAR produces less than 80 one-of-a-kind pieces a year, most of which are custom designed with a particular person in mind, often according to his whim. And potential buyers beware: if JAR doesn’t think a piece suits you, he reserves the right not to sell it to you.
Ellen Barkin’s JAR earrings, via Christie’s
JAR is most lauded for his extraordinary work with pavé; he typically sets vibrant gemstones against his own custom dark metal alloy for striking contrast. And while fine jewelry often loses value when it changes hands, JAR’s museum-worthy work is so coveted that it can double in value when resold. Not that it happens very often, as a JAR piece of wearable art is generally considered one of its owner’s most prized possessions.
JAR jewels below are from Christie's May 2012 "Jewels for Hope" auction of Lily Safra's collection.
JAR sapphire, ruby, and diamond Moghul tulip ear clips • Sold for $275,168 at Christie's in May 2012
JAR diamond camellia flowerhead bangle bracelet • Sold at Christie's in May 2012 for $624,792
JAR diamond charm ring with two taviz-cut diamonds weighing 16.98 and 15.31 carats • Sold for $974,417 at Christie's "Jewels for Hope" auction