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Joel Arthur Rosenthal, an American jewelry designer known professionally by the initals of his name, or JAR, started his artistic career writing movie scripts, after completing an Art History major at Harvard. Still searching, he moved on to tapestry and opened a needlepoint shop working with coloured yarn and garnering top clients such as Hermes and Valentino along the way.
He had a short stint with Bulgari as a sales associate, but soon found his vocation as a jewelry designer and now works out of his studio in Paris, making fewer than 100 bespoke jewels per year. The two pieces in this post were made in 2008 and both were included in the exhibition Jewels By JAR held at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York City from November 20, 2013 to March 9, 2014. This was The Met’s first show ever to be devoted to a living jewelry designer.
His work is acclaimed, sought after, and commands very high prices… At a Christie’s auction in Geneva in 2012, Lily Safra, widow of banker Edmond J. Safra, sold a life-size camellia brooch paved with 173 carats of rubies for $4.3 million, the highest amount paid for any JAR item at auction to date. It was estimated at $1.2-$1.5 million and far surpassed this figure.
The jewels were shown in an exhibition in London before going to auction in Geneva, and a video (below) by The Jewellery Editor‘s Maria Doulton highlighted a few pieces – among them, pieces by JAR.
Watch the video below, and on the next page, don’t miss two of the stunning pieces from The Met’s Jewels By JAR.