Put an industry veteran, a blogger/gemologist, and an antiques road show superstar in one room and what fun will you have?! SO much fun. That was basically the situation when I visited Wartski at 14 Grafton Street in London. With such a rich history, and even richer items for sale, this place became my dreamland. Glass display cases lined with the prettiest antique jewelry and museum-like displays which held the rare jewels made up the showroom, along with a large safe and an incredible portrait of Queen Alexandra.
Geoffrey Munn was there to delightfully show us some outstanding pieces of gold jewelry, which he started off with a gold and guilloche clock. Wartski is known for their extensive collection of Faberge pieces, most of which are gold with enamel or carved gemstones. Geoffrey was eager to pull things out from the safe to show, like the creepy/cool mid-Victorian piece made of gold and beetle wings. One of my favorite things I tried on was a 18k yellow gold necklace by Eugene Fontenay. The piece is French, mid-Victorian and has a neo-classical look. The necklace just laid wonderfully against my skin, it was beautiful.
Other outstanding pieces include an Art Nouveau buckle-like jewel, which was worn around the neck with a ribbon. It was done by Lucien Gautrait, a mysterious jeweler who was known for his enamel work and resemblance to Lalique’s work. It was also incredible to see opera glasses made entirely out of gold and gemstones. The work and craftsmanship that went into them is astonishing.
Wartski is the perfect getaway to be dazzled and enlightened by antique jewelry, especially if you have Geoffrey as your host. I had such a great time trying on the most amazing pieces and learning new things from such a seasoned jewelry professional. Thank you and hopefully I’ll be back soon!
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