London is a hotbed for art and jewellery enthusiasts, as evidenced by the upcoming Masterpiece Exhibition. This is a highly anticipated date in many people’s calendar, as they flock to the city for their chance to snap up a coveted piece. 150 galleries and specialists come together to share their work and antique collections, and let the public the opportunity to purchase exquisite collectibles.
The Masterpiece takes place every summer and features thousands of works. London is a destination for many during this time, as they wish to explore captivating and rare works. If you’re interested in learning all about this exhibition, then we have you covered with the following informative guide.
Masterpiece Exhibition comes to the Royal Hospital Chelsea each year. Driving to the event is not advised, as there are only a limited number of spaces for patrons. Instead, the organisers suggest that if you wish to attend, you use the local public transport system to get there.
Masterpiece is a week-long event, with the preview coming just a few days before the grand opening. Typically, over 40,000 people attend, with almost a quarter of them coming just for the preview. If you want a guided tour of the exhibits, you can book a 30-minute tour around the gallery in advance. This tour is run in partnership with Sotheby’s and departs from their London location.
Experts will lead you around the jewellery and artworks on display, explaining more about the artists and artisans that created the work. This is well worth considering if you intend to shop while at Masterpiece as you will get to learn about their stories and influences. This is particularly true of the jewellery pieces, as the tour guide will allow you to get up close and personal with jewellery designs. Spaces on these tours are highly sought after so, if possible, book well in advance to secure a space.
There are also a number of talks throughout the event, including those from jewellery experts. Highlights from this year’s exhibition include an informative talk from expert Sandra Cronan on the place of the brooch in modern society. There are even musical and crafting workshops for those of all ages who wish to take something away from the event. It certainly is a varied lineup!
There are so many talented artists and creators showcased at Masterpiece every year. The online portal for this event is exceptionally useful if you’d like to browse the pieces in the comfort of your own home. Remember that items sell quickly so if a piece stands out, snap it up while you can.
Many artisans, including jewellers, spend the entire year creating pieces, especially for the Masterpiece exhibition. Those that are featured include the following jewellery designers:
This renowned family of designers has been in the business for more than four generations. They specialise in crafting diamond pieces that capture both modern elegance and tradition. Unusually, Boghossian uses a lot of yellow diamonds within their pieces, which makes them incredibly unique. Pearls also play a major part in Boghossian’s work, with natural settings aiming to enhance the beauty of the minerals. They’ve attempted to bring back many older techniques that are no longer used, such as incrustation. This technique was used most in Ancient Egypt, though Boghossian’s designers have done an excellent job of updating the style in a contemporary but classic fashion.
If you are looking striking, unusual designs, jeweller S. J. Phillips will be right up your alley. Having been in business for over 130 years, the brand has amassed one of the largest collections of Continental silver in the world. Their insect themed brooches and accessories are truly one of a kind.
S.J. Phillips use a mix of brightly coloured precious stones to create the body and eyes of these insect-themed accessories. We’re taken by just how interesting the works from this designer are, as they take the glittering body of insects and recreate them in jewellery; a true leader in their field.
German designer Hemmerle is all about opulence, solely using hand-polished gems and precious metals. Their earrings and bracelets are impressive, with bright green emeralds and glittering red rubies forming a significant part of their collection. This renowned design studio’s origins dates to the early 1900s, in which their predecessors were jewellers to the Bavarian courts. Their ethos come from a place of originality, as they wish to give their wearer something that they would not find anywhere else in the world. Each piece is bespoke and features the distinct style of this family business. Once you see Hemmerle’s designs, you won’t be surprised that they are a royal favourite.
Finally, we come to one of the more contemporary designers featured at London’s Masterpiece exhibition. Grima is a London-based design studio known for their sometimes-outlandish designs and love for gold settings. More than anything, expect large gems set in gold and silver. Grima sits in the heart of Mayfair among the bustling jewellery industry. Although they are contemporary, they still use many of the jewellery techniques that have been used for many years. Their unique ability is to take the simple and turn it into something much more exciting by adding their own twist. Their teardrop earrings are somewhat legendary, having been favoured by celebrities around the world.
Catch up with these designers at the event itself or afterwards at the awards.
Masterpiece is a must for all jewellery enthusiasts, with many eclectic designers coming together under one roof. It’s best to buy while at the exhibition as most pieces are not mass produced and will only be around for a limited period. It’s the perfect summer event if you’re an avid jewellery fan.