Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Royal Love Stories

By Ann Covode

On July 29, 1981, the entire world watched as Prince Charles and Princess Diana became husband and wife. Never has there been a royal love story like Prince Charles’ and Princess Diana’s. The couple met when Diana was only a teenager and Charles was dating her older sister. Several years later, after only 12 dates, the couple got engaged and were married within six months at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Princess DianaThe wedding was broadcast on television and seen by around 750 million people around the world.  An international event, it is remembered as one of the most famous weddings in royal history, even after Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ divorce in 1992—only five short years before her untimely death in 1997.

 

When Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana Spencer, he invited her to choose her own engagement ring, from a selection at Garrard – the royal family’s official jeweler. She chose an 18-carat oval sapphire, surrounded by 14 smaller diamonds, which was part of the company’s catalogue. ChuckandDiThis caused a stir at the time – anyone who had the money in 1981 could have purchased an identical copy of the ring. It wasn’t specially made – it wasn’t even a diamond ring. But the future princess had an eye for style even then, and her iconic choice was copied by brides-to-be the world over for years afterwards.

The sapphire was in the spotlight again over 30 years later, when it sparkled on Kate Middleton’s finger as Prince William presented his future bride to the world. Giving Kate the ring was the Prince’s way of ensuring his late mother was included. “Obviously, she’s not going to be around to share in any of the fun and excitement of it all, so this is my way of keeping her close to it all,” he told the assembled press.

WillandKateBefore leaving for Kenya where he planned to pop the question, William took the ring from a royal safe, and carried it around with him in his rucksack for three weeks in Africa before he finally asked for Kate’s hand. “I literally would not let it go. Everywhere I went, I was keeping ahold of it because I knew if it disappeared, I’d be in a lot of trouble,” said the future King.

 

 

Eve Alfillé also has great plans for sapphires.  She envisioned these sapphire earrings for a director or an actress on awards night. “Barring unforeseen circumstances” earrings feature 18 extra fine sapphire briolettes totaling 9.54 carats and 32 diamonds totaling 0.24 carats (E-F/VS) set in platinum. These bright, vibrant earrings will start conversations! $8780

Barring unforseen circumstances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlene, Princess of Monaco is a Zimbabwean-South African former Olympic swimmer and wife of Prince Albert II. The Princess was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe), the daughter of Michael and Lynette Wittstock, and the family relocated to South Africa in 1989. Charlene represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with her team finishing fifth in the 4 × 100 metre medley relay. Charlene retired from competitive swimming in 2007.Princess Charlene

Charlene met Prince Albert at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in 2000. They were first seen together in 2006, and Princess Charlene has accompanied Prince Albert on many of his official duties since then. They announced their engagement in June 2010, and were married on 1 July 2011. The Princess’s pregnancy was announced on 30 May 2014. On 10 December 2014, she gave birth to fraternal twins Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques.

One can only imagine Princess Charlene’s delight when she opened up the box containing this gorgeous diamond and sapphire ‘Ocean’ necklace. Studded with 1,200 precious stones, the stunning piece can also be worn as a tiara. It was created specially for her by Van Cleef & Arpels as a wedding gift from her prince. It was a particularly thoughtful and romantic gesture on Albert’s part, referencing the former Olympic swimmer’s affinity for the water and recalling the great love story of his parents Rainier and Grace – Van Cleef & Arpels was the official jewellers to the principality at their iconic wedding in1956. CEO Stanislas Quercize said: “There are more than 850 diamonds. The idea of the necklace is to represent sea spume. “And so we included 359 sapphires. We chose three shades of blue, evoking the world’s different seas from the waters of the coast of Monaco to the ocean around Africa. “To crown the work 11 pearl-cut diamonds evoke droplets of water.”

Eve has also been inspired by underwater mysteries in her work.. Her “Triton’s Ball” necklace is a joyful gathering of seahorses. This celebration features rare two and three colored tourmalines and seahorses bound together. “Seahorses mate for life and these bi-color tourmalines symbolize a union or marriage” states Eve.

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“Triton’s Ball” necklace is an underwater treasure! 18 karat green gold double seahorses punctuated by a matched suite of bi- & tri-color pink, violet and teal tourmalines totalling 20.49 carats. Four faceted kite-shape oro verde quartz totaling 11.19 carats are interspersed throughout the tourmalines to create a shimmering underwater look. The back has four single seahorses and an integrated double seahorse curly-hook clasp. In front, another matching 10 carat pink-violet bi-color tourmaline is suspended and removable to vary the look from dazzling casual to spectacular elegant wear! 16″ length, extremely comfortable and wearable, this necklace is an absolute treasure! What could be more romantic? $15,200

Photo by Yancey Hughes Photography, Evanston, IL

 

How will you surprise your princess?

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Love Conquers All”

By Ann Covode

The love stories continue with tales of adoration from the Kennedy’s. Jackie Kennedy captivated the nation as the First Lady in the early sixties. She was a fashion icon and every woman in America followed her style. Sixty-five years ago John Fitzgerald Kennedy married Ms. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island. This star-studded affair went down as the social event of the season and the wedding of two of the most iconic political figures in American history.
johnnjackieIn May 1952 at a dinner party in Washington DC, photographer Bouvier was introduced to Congressman John F. Kennedy. The introduction was made by a mutual friend, journalist Charles Bartlett. John was apparently instantly smitten. “I’ve never met anyone like her,” he said at the time, The Washington Post later reported. The couple had been dating for two years when he popped the question with a Van Cleef & Arpels ring set with a 2.88-carat diamond and 2.84-carat emerald, according to Vogue. Jackie had the sparkler redesigned after their marriage. The baguettes were replaced with round diamonds totaling 0.66 carat, and marquise diamonds, totaling 1.46 carats (right).

Eve has long been enamored with emeralds. In her Pompeii series she mixes emerald beads with 20 and 22 carat gold elements utilizing a granulation technique. Pompeii was a resort town in its day with beautiful villas looking out over the sea. “Wealthy Romans vacationed in Pompeii and opulence was on display in their homes and in their jewelry. The Romans loved emeralds and gold. These elements have been popular since 70 B.C. ” explains Eve.

“Via dell Abondanza” necklace. Delight your loved one with this alluring necklace from Eve’s “Pompeii” series.

Abodanza Necklace

 

“Via dell Abondanza” necklace features 60 emerald beads totaling a hefty 71.0 carats, with 20 karat gold and 22 karat gold elements. $4030.

 

 

Etruscan earrings

“Etruscan Gold” earrings feature ornate 18 karat and 22 karat gold, with two emerald beads totaling 3.15 carats dangling below. Beautiful, elegant earrings can be worn day or night! $1970.

 

 

 

On Oct. 20, 1968, the former first lady stunned her adoring public by remarrying. Five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, she donned a wedding dress, entered a candlelit chapel and pronounced “I do” to Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek shipping tycoon. From that moment on, she would forever be “Jackie O.”

JackieOOne of the most famous pieces from Jackie’s collection was probably the least worn of all of her jewelry. That was the beautiful 40-carat marquise Lesotho III diamond ring given to the elegant brunette by Aristotle Onassis in 1968 when she agreed to be his wife. It’s believed that she only wore the marquise-shaped sparkler twice and then it was locked away in a bank vault in New York. It sold for $2.59 million during Sotheby’s 1996 auction of Jackie’s estate. This was much higher than the estimated price of $500,000 to $600,000 – but the price shot up due to a frenzied war between two anonymous bidders.

Finding something special in Paraiba tourmalines, Eve has created the spectacular “Interchange IV” engagement ring. Several years ago she discovered these bright, beautiful Paraiba tourmalines from Brazil and set them in this ring. These tourmalines are now highly sought after and found in the house of Cartier as well as other famous jewelry houses. The center teal indicolite tourmaline warms the 113 diamonds surrounding it as though it is melting the ice. “In this society where everyone is on their cell phone, this is a reminder that there is warmth amid the cold atmosphere” states Eve.

InterchangeIV

Swirling spirals of diamonds will hypnotize you in “Interchange IV”, an engagement ring from Eve Alfillé’s “Alone Together” series. The ring is an absolute beauty, featuring a 4.33 carat fine cushion-cut teal indicolite tourmaline encircled by a series of 113 diamonds totaling 0.87 carats (E-F/VS) that weave a swirling perimeter about the richly hued center. A pair of Paraiba tourmalines in an electric-teal hue sparkle on either side of the center stone and weigh 0.29 carats together. The theme of the “interchange” in this series signifies the various paths of life that we are all offered and the power of choice that we are afforded. $12,400.

More love stories to come…

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Famous Love Affairs

By Ann Covode

Valentine’s Day is approaching and we are celebrating some of the famous love affairs of our time.  Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and unique designs have always played a big part in expressing our affections.  To learn more about the famous jewels of these celebrities as well as the unique designs created by Eve J Alfillé read on…

king and wallisWallis Simpson loved King Edward VIII – the sovereign who abdicated to marry her, rocking the foundations of the British monarchy – she adored opulent jewelry almost as much. And to seal the 20th century’s most scandalous love affair, the royal lavished gems on the bewitching American – whose two previous divorces made it impossible for him to have her hand and stay on the throne.

One of the most personal items is the bracelet Wallis – styled the Duchess of Windsor – wore on their wedding day. It featured gem-encrusted crosses, engraved with inscriptions marking key points in their romance. One recorded her appendectomy, while another reading “God save the King For Wallis”, refers to an assassination attempt on Edward. Another, with the words “The Kings [sic] Cross” marks the time in 1936 that, after a heated argument, she hailed a taxi and said “King’s Cross,” to the driver. “I’m sorry lady,” he replied.  It sold for £601,250 when the Duchess’ collection was sold at auction in 2010.

bigcatbrcAnother standout piece which was often seen on the Duchess’ wrist at parties in the Riviera, where the couple made their home in exile, was this spectacular onyx and diamond bracelet. Made in 1952, it was based on sketches of the big cats at the zoo in Vincennes, France.  It fetched £4.5 million at auction – three times the amount at which it had been valued.

Eve Alfillé has been inspired by animals and nature in her jewelry design.  When she saw this Madagascar jasper she remembers thinking “It looked like flight!”  When designing this piece she thought of it having “strength and fragility” at the same time.  On one side there was a yellow dot that wasn’t repeated on the other side so Eve decided to add a yellow diamond so the two sides would match.  Then she thought the thorax should be a degradation of diamonds of every color. “Of course this butterfly is a female with an egg.” States Eve. The result is an exquisite butterfly that is ready to fly!

pin11900px600dk-300x300“Queen of the fluttering wind” pin
This butterfly with Madagascar Ocean (Orbicular) jasper wings. Head & body: suite of graduated marquise natural-color champagne, golden-yellow & white diamonds total 0.47 carats. Hand-fabricated pin with platinum tendrils and 18 karat gold. White, yellow, champagne and irradiated green diamond “dewdrops” total 0.23 carats. Suspended champagne diamond briolette (0.57 carat) removable drop. $10,200.

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Elizabeth Taylor was used to receiving dazzling love tokens. But the 50.6-carat ‘La Peregrina’ pearl, given to her by Richard Burton, left all others in the shade. He bought it for the actress as a Valentine’s Day gift and she later comissioned Cartier to design a ruby-and-diamond necklace mount for the piece. It went for a $11.8 million (£7.6million) at auction – almost $9 million more than expected.

laperegrinaThe pearl’s fascinating history fuelled the fierce bidding battle. It was given to Mary Tudor of England upon her engagement to Spain’s Phillip II in 1554 and belonged to a succession of eight Spanish kings until 1808. When Richard bought ‘La Peregrina’ at auction in 1969, it found a home with Hollywood royalty.

Not that his wife always looked after the precious stone that carefully. Elizabeth once misplaced the stunning piece which was eventually found in the mouth of her beloved dog after an extensive search.

Eve has also found unique beauty in the rare abalone pearl. The most colorful of all pearl-producing mollusks, abalone, are found in rocky, coastal waters around the world. Though fairly plentiful, these rock-hugging snails rarely produce pearls. These snails are fast moving and muscular and a pearl might form for as many as 10 years.  This pearl was acquired from the famous pearl doctor, Lowell Jones.

callalilyCalla Lilly Abalone Pearl Necklace
This romantic “Calla Lily” lustrous rare natural abalone pearl and platinum pendant is an Alfillé masterpiece. Art nouveau inspired platinum caresses the curves of this iridescent “Opal of the Sea”. The 14.40 carat abalone pearl is studded with emeralds, diamonds and natural alexandrite to echo the colorplay within the pearl.   Twelve emeralds total 0.18 carats, thirty-one diamonds total 0.31 carats (F-G/VS), a 0.06 carat pink irradiated diamond and a 0.20 carat natural alexandrite.  

Eve states that this piece is “Beauty that takes risks”, commenting on the fragility and uniqueness of this pearl.  $12,800.

kruppdmdThe very first sparkling gift Richard gave to the screen icon was the 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond, which he bought for her in 1968 and had made into a gorgeous ring. It had formerly been part of the estate of Vera Krupp, second wife of the steel magnate Alfred Krupp. One of her favorites, Elizabeth wore it in a number of her films – in fact, it was hardly ever seen off her finger. It sold for $8,181,500 (£5.6million) in 2011.

Eve’s “Bacchanal” ring is a celebration of life!
Eve loves creating celebratory rings as well as seen in her “Bachanal” ring from her “In Great Spirits” Series.  Elizabeth Taylor would have loved this ring!  Rare plum and raspberry colored spinels mimic merlot and pinot noir.  She doesn’t forget the chardonnays and pinot grigios on the side with her two lemon yellow Montana sapphires.

bacchanalThe cast and finished 18 karat white gold shows leaf and fruit carvings on the front and back of the ring, each side set with two lemon yellow Montana sapphires. The top of the ring features fine spinels: one 12.38 carat plum-color cushion cut spinel, two raspberry cushion-cut spinels totaling 3.50 carats and four cushion-cut pomegranate spinels totaling 6.40 carats. As if that weren’t enough opulence, the head of the ring is surrounded by 30 glittering diamonds totaling 0.82 carats (E-F/VS).  $14,800.

Stay tuned! The love stories will continue…

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Sacred Geometries” Artist Notes

By Ann Covode

Part 1 of 3 in a series of articles that explore Eve’s design process as she developed her “Sacred Geometries” series.

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“He was perfect. As Leonardo Da Vinci drew him, he was the poster boy, the icon, for all that was right with creation. His proportions, mathematically correct, his position, splayed equally between circle and square, (between heaven and earth), This Vitruvian man was know to all, and his example followed by all artists and architects since Plato.

 

Eve talks about dreaming of the shapes that she envisions.  Once it is put on paper she has fully formed the idea in her imagination. Her newest series “Sacred Geometries” has been in her imagination for several years.  She reads a lot about history and creation and the origins of civilization. From her years in archaeological sites, she retains a belief that humans seek not only food and shelter, but also a measure of transcendence, to give life a meaning.
Alfillé was schooled in the classics, Latin and Greek, but notes that her archaeological work took her to other civilizations, and spurred her interest in common symbols to all cultures.
She has another view on Vitruvian Man.
“But things change… New continents explored, new ideas and art have moved on. Vitruvian man has lost his job.  And… he’s exhausted hanging there for so long.  He’s out of here, he steps out, and in this piece I have created in gold and gems as a belated homage to the power of ideas” states Eve.
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In this drawing she has created as a design for the pin, she writes “Stepping down”, Vitruvian Man (icon of the ages).  In her notes she expresses “Figure shows exhaustion, he’s lonely there! All these centuries!”
More notes on the design include… He is an outline, but with some depth, 3-D, suggestion of musculature, face is blank.
In her studio she experiments with these ideas and develops her images into yellow and white gold, then embellishes them with diamonds, sapphires and green irradiated diamonds.
Finally, he comes to life in her “Icon Suspended” pendant, which is gleaming with 18K white and yellow gold.
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“Icon Suspended” pin/pendant
18k gold and 18k white gold
Rubies, rose-cut diamonds, sapphires, green irradiated diamond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“The Circle in the Square” In almost every civilization, the circle is taken to represent heaven, where the square denotes the built environment i.e. earth. Just as in the Vitruvian man drawing, Da Vinci depicted man suspended between heaven and earth.

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“In these earrings, I wanted to show that each one of us potentially carries a piece of heaven within us,” states Eve.
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Coming Soon: Part 2!
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“Circle in the Square” earrings
Sterling Silver and 14 karat gold
Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Les perles précieuses de la reine de France font vendues!

By Jennifer Conley

Queen Marie Antoinette, the notorious French queen who lost her head during the French Revolution, had a collection of spectacular jewels befitting any queen. During the revolution, most of the French royal jewels were looted but Marie Antoinette was able to send a portion of her jewels to her family in Austria for safe keeping. For over 200 years the collection has been kept in the private collection of Marie Antoinette’s descendants but at the beginning of November 2018, Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva sold many of the famous queen’s prized jewels.

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Don’t lose your head over the price, the prized pieces of the deceased French queen sold at auction for 53 million euros (approximately 60 millions US dollars)!!!!!

 

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The highlight of the auction was Marie Antoinette’s stunning pearl and diamond pendant which sold for 28 million euros (approximately 32 millions US dollars)!!!!!

The pendant features a ribbon of 27 diamonds that attaches to the magnificent 15.90 by 18.35 by 25.85 mm pear shaped pearl. This part of the pendant was originally worn on the third row of  Marie Antoinette’s three strand pearl necklace with the large oval shaped diamond, that is currently on the top of the pendant, originally in the clasp of the necklace.

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Her pearl necklace consisted of 162 natural pearls, including the large natural pear shaped pearl that hung from the pendant.

This enchanting piece was eventually passed down to Marie Antoinette’s daughter, Marie Thérèse of France. Over time the pendant was removed from the necklace and constructed into the magnificent piece that it is today. The pendant is now the most expensive pearl jewel in the world to date, which seems appropriate considering the extravagance of the late French queen, non?

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