Lot Essay One of a series made for the Somerset House exhibition held in London in 2002.
JAR - the business name and initials of the New Yorker turned jewelry design vanguard, Joel Arthur Rosenthal - has helped anchor some of the most important high jewelry collections to come to market in the last two decades.
Since 1977, from his shop on Paris’ Place Vendôme, Rosenthal and his partner Pierre Jeannet have enthralled a privileged few clients a year with limited-edition pieces of exceptional architectural depth, color and fancy. The highly sought-after creations are made all the more exciting by JAR’s hallmark pairing of unassuming natural gems with brilliant precious stones and inventive settings.
Relatively speaking, his is a focused but thoroughly influential body of work supported in no small part by the exclusivity of his output. Mr. Rosenthal’s yearly production of a scant 70-80 pieces is a terribly small number yet each jewel represents a singular and unique expression of his creativity.
His pieces are collected by a coterie of perpetually chic women including French actress and art lover Jacqueline Delubac and stage and screen actress Ellen Barkin. Barkin, who offered a magnificent collection of JAR pieces at Christie’s, spoke fondly in an interview about the tactile experience of wearing his jewels - the smoothness of the pearls against her neck, the feeling as the earrings ‘clang in her ears as she ran around town.’
It was JAR’s blockbuster exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2002 that placed him into the consciousness of fashionable women everywhere. The architectural elements of JAR’s creations make a dramatic piece of jewelry and the designer’s rich and storied history only add to its appeal.