Students who completed the “History of Jewellery Design: 1880 to Now” course that Christie’s Education released a few years ago were thrilled to hear that the company had launched a sequel. It offers a new chance to learn from course leader Vanessa Cron’s erudite narration and contagious enthusiasm for jewelry stories.
“Jewellery: Gemstones, Metal, Fashion, Film and Objets D’art” covers the material aspect of jewels — how stones and metals reveal a historic era and geographic provenance. In this six-module online series, Cron also covers groundbreaking jewelers from René Lalique to Hemmerle, and devotes an episode to the relationship between adornment, fashion and the big screen.
While “History of Jewellery Design” follows a chronological structure, this program “provides additional context and new ways of thinking about jewels,“ explains Ted Sandling, director of online courses at Christie’s Education. “It was important to us that we could show precious objects that might not initially be thought of as jewelry — such as Art Deco nécessaires — as well as look at designers we had not covered in the first course, such as Suzanne Belperron.”
Elegantly produced, the narrative takes participants on a journey from Sumerian goldsmiths to avant-garde British designer Shaun Leane, touching on Fabergé’s innovative enameling techniques and Georg Jensen’s iconic creations. Interviews with passionate insiders complement the syllabus. Among them are Bulgari creative director for high jewelry Lucia Silvestri, and jewelry historian Andrew Prince, designer of bejeweled accessories for TV series Downton Abbey.
“We have been delighted to welcome back a large number of students who previously [took] Vanessa’s first course with us,” says Sandling. “Overall, students learning for personal pleasure outnumber those in the industry, many of whom are studying for career advancement.”
Considering the wealth of knowledge it imparts and its flexible approach to learning, this course should be compulsory for anyone working in the fine- and high-jewelry industry who wants to share lively stories with their community.
Image: Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg with original surprise, designed by Alma Theresia Pihl. Tsar Nicholas II gave it to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, for Easter 1913 (Christie’s).