Jar’s jewels, a mystery that has lasted for over 40 years: a myth protected from the lights that shines for its exceptional artistic genius ♦
It is easier to buy a Hermes kelly without reservation that a jewel of Jar on a waiting list. Not only because Joel Arthur Rosenthal from 1977 produces a maximum of 120 pieces per year: the real obstacle is pleasing as possible purchaser. In fact, the jeweler follows just one rule in his work: create what he wants, when he wants, for who he wants. So it happens that the jewel a customer want to buy, among his clientele there is Lily Safra, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, is not exactly what he believes look really good on them and he tries to convince of that. Needless to negotiate, take it or give.
But it seems worthwhile to stand his character, because a jewel of Jar is a safe investment, according to the auction prices of the last 20 years: in fact, the man has been called the Faberge of our time, has one of the highest proportions of sale of jewels auctioned (approximately 82%), with a double value than the estimates and above a revaluation over time, constant and growing. Knows something about this who purchased in 2002 for $ 41,000 (about 33 000 euro), Etoiles de Mer earrings, with natural pearls and diamonds, resold at an auction at Christie’s in 2014 for about $ 217,000, approximately 174 000 EUR: a revaluation of over 500%.
And what about the earrings with natural pearls, rubies and diamonds sold for the first time in 2012 for 30,000 dollars (24,000 euros) and were then resold by Sotheby’s for 425,000 dollars (about 350,000 euros). The fact that Jar is the first living jeweler to have had a retrospective dedicated to him at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will certainly have an influence. But it is certain that Rosenthal is considered at the top of high jewelery, a true innovator like Fulco Verdura. And to think that his professional history began in a surprising way: born in New York City in 1943, Rosenthal graduated in art history and philosophy from Harvard before moving to Paris, where he opened an embroidery shop. His experiments with unusual yarn colors attracted the attention of the designers of Hermès and Valentino. Then he moved on to jewelry: in New York he worked for Bulgari, before returning to Paris and opening his legendary atelier in Place Vendôme with his partner Pierre Jeannet.
In 2002 he caused a sensation at an exhibition at Somerset House in London, which consecrated the myth of Jar. To thank the 145 customers who lent the jewels for the 400-piece show, he sent everyone a pair of colored aluminum Pansy earrings. A symbolic gift: it alludes to the French word for pansy. And the thousands of aluminum earrings that went on sale at the exhibition were sold out in a couple of days. Another milestone is the Mogol bracelet, which was auctioned by Christie’s in April 2002: it is one of the earliest examples of JAR’s use of oxidized titanium. The metallic purple of the titanium is accompanied by flowers on the edges and continues inside the jewel: a tribute to traditional Indian jewelry. Another recurring motif of Jar is that of nature, with the animal and floral world transformed into jewels.