Gift Guide: What To Buy Your Man

T Australia curates the latest in menswear and gifts for men, from sharp suits to the finest leathergoods and rings.

Article by T Australia

A collage of gifts.Photographs courtesy of the brands.
Celine Homme chain-embellished brushed-suede jacket,
Celine Homme chain-embellished brushed-suede jacket, $10,666, mrporter.com.
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello oversized wool coat,
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello oversized wool coat, $7,750, ysl.com.
Bottega Veneta watch belt.
Bottega Veneta watch belt, $720, bottegaveneta.com.
Rick Owens Rick D-frame acetate sunglasses
Rick Owens Rick D-frame acetate sunglasses, $1,008, mrporter.com.
RM Williams Bunbury boots in Mid Brown.
RM Williams Bunbury boots in Mid Brown, $699, rmwilliams.com.au.
Bellroy Zip wallet in Deep Plum.
Bellroy Zip wallet in Deep Plum, $149, bellroy.com.
Acne Studios Regular Fit 1996 jeans
Acne Studios Regular Fit 1996 jeans, $670, acnestudios.com.
Dries Van Noten signet ring,
Dries Van Noten signet ring, $557, mytheresa.com.
Merrell Moab Speed 2 shoes.
Merrell Moab Speed 2 shoes, $199.99, merrellaustralia.com.au.
Levi’s Classic Worker shirt
Levi’s Classic Worker shirt, $119.95, levis.com.au.
Haulier Large Utility Tote bag
Haulier Large Utility Tote bag, $625, theiconic.com.au.
Dior La Mousse Off/On foaming cleanser
Dior La Mousse Off/On foaming cleanser, $69 for 150ml, shop.dior.com.au.
Glenglassaugh Sandend whisky.
Glenglassaugh Sandend whisky, $120 for 700ml, nicks.com.au.
Prada Saffiano leather bolo tie.
Prada Saffiano leather bolo tie, $795, prada.com.
This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our eighteenth edition, Page 48 of T Australia with the headline: “What a Man Wants”

Jewels That Are Spiky, Squiggly and a Little Bit Wild

Leafy and serpentine designs give earrings, necklaces and other pieces an organic edge.

Article by T Australia

17-TMAG-WILD-JEWELS-1From left: David Yurman earrings, davidyurman.com; Chopard earrings; and De Beers ring, debeers.com. Photographs by Esther Choi. Set design by Jocelyn Cabral. Food styling by Suea. Jewellery editor: Angela Koh.
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From left: Fendi High Jewelry earrings, fendi.com; Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet, vancleefarpels.com; and Graff ring, graff.com. Photographs by Esther Choi. Set design by Jocelyn Cabral. Food styling by Suea. Jewelry editor: Angela Koh.
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Clockwise from left: Tiffany & Co. brooch, tiffany.com; Cartier watch, cartier.com; Oscar Heyman necklace; and David Webb ring, davidwebb.com. Photographs by Esther Choi. Set design by Jocelyn Cabral. Food styling by Suea. Jewelry editor: Angela Koh.
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From left: Bulgari earrings, price on request, bulgari.com; Buccellati cuff; and Monica Rich Kosann necklace, monicarichkosann.com. Photographs by Esther Choi. Set design by Jocelyn Cabral. Food styling by Suea. Jewelry editor: Angela Koh.

A Celestial Ode to Pearls and the Moon’s Embrace

Paspaley unveils its Moonlight collection – an artful homage to lunar energy.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Paspaley moonlight_1Photograph courtesy of Paspaley.

Paspaley, the distinguished Australian luxury jewellery company renowned for its exceptional pearls, unveils its latest collection Moonlight. Crafted under the guidance of Christine Salter, Paspaley’s creative director, this collection is an homage to the celestial ballet between the moon above and the oceans below.

Set against the backdrop of the Kimberley, the birthplace of Paspaley pearls, Moonlight draws inspiration from the mesmerising “Staircase to the Moon.” Here, near Roebuck Bay, moonlight dances upon tidal flats, creating an otherworldly stairway to the heavens, forging a cosmic connection between lunar forces and earthly tides.

“Moonlight reflects the shared ethereal beauty of Paspaley pearls and the moon but also the energetic connection between the two,” says Salter. “The collection was inspired by the moon’s energy and its role in the creation of Paspaley pearls.”

Comprising 25 exquisite pieces across three distinctive narratives – Crescent Moon, Lunar, and Full Moon – Moonlight echoes Paspaley’s singular design DNA, and seamlessly marries contemporary design with the timeless allure of high-end jewellery.

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Photograph courtesy of Paspaley.
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Photograph courtesy of Paspaley.

Crescent Moon

Inspired by the moonlit waves that veil the ocean’s mysteries, this story offers talismanic designs ripe for everyday wear. Notably, the Crescent Moon Collier dazzles with mother-of-pearl, white diamonds, and Australian white crystal opals, capturing the moon’s magnetic pull and its rhythmic dance with ocean tides.

Lunar

Echoing the ebb and flow of the oceans under celestial guidance, Lunar pays tribute to the enigmatic symbols found in the night skies. The Moonlight Tidal Necklace, a highlight, mirrors the ocean’s ripples in engraved mother-of-pearl, adorned with white diamonds and rainbow moonstones, culminating in a luminous Australian South Sea pearl.

Full Moon

Revering the moon’s profound significance in Paspaley’s heritage, this story harks back to the days when historic pearling ships navigated by the stars. “Full Moon Rising” were the words spoken by founder Nicholas Paspaley Snr upon discovering the most exquisite round pearls.

Moonlight, a collection that marries the celestial and the earthly, is available to shop at all Paspaley boutiques and online.

Embrace Kitsch with Charm Necklaces That Cater to All Moods

For her latest Darius collection, the Los Angeles-based designer Darya Khonsary looked to the shapes of idols.

Article by Angela Koh

24-TMAG-PORTUGAL-HOTEL-3Clockwise from top left: Super Smalls necklace, supersmalls.com; Notte necklace, nottejewelry.com; Alighieri necklace, matchesfashion.com; Timeless Pearly necklace, price on request, timelesspearly.com; Bangla Begum necklace and charms, banglabegum.com; Darius chain and charms, all price on request, dariusjewels.com. Photograph by Courtesy of the brands.

The concept of a charm necklace or bracelet can be traced back to ancient times, when early civilisations imbued talismans with spiritual significance. For her latest collection, the Los Angeles-based designer Darya Khonsary — who often references her Persian ancestry in her jewellery line, Darius — looked to the shapes of idols that were uncovered at the site of the Mesopotamian Eye Temple at Tell Brak and dated to the third millennium B.C. Khonsary created pieces including earrings, a ring and a charm that could be strung on a necklace, all made of 18-karat Fairmined gold. The Paris-based designer Fanny Boucher takes a lighthearted approach to charms with her brand Bangla Begum, offering a selection of trinkets with suggested meanings. Among the available trinkets are a frog, symbolising a French lover, and a chess piece, which plays on the French word “échec” (failure) to celebrate a failed relationship. Timeless Pearly’s Leslie Chetrit launched her brand in 2017 with an array of eclectic pieces, the latest being pendant necklaces variously featuring whimsical mushrooms and a gold-plated Pinocchio, all handmade in her Paris studio. With her three daughters in mind, the former magazine editor Maria Dueñas Jacobs created Super Smalls, a line for children. Her pieces, like a four-leaf-clover necklace featuring a real clover pressed in resin, are meant to be shared among family members.

All That Glitters: Cartier’s Italian Jewel-and Star-Studded Affair to Remember

Behind a nondescript set of gates near Tuscany’s Pizzorne hills, the style set mixes with the ultra wealthy, riding golf buggies through storied gardens and perusing Cartier’s new collection. For their host, it’s big business: events like these are where multimillion-dollar jewels are sold.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Cartier High Jewellery_5Models showcase Cartier’s new collection at Palazzo Corsini, Florence. Photography courtesy of Cartier.

Drive 80 minutes northwest of Florence and eagle-eyed travellers might spot the discreet entrance to Villa Reale di Marlia, a 17th-century palazzo that hugs the foot of the Pizzorne hills, about 10 kilometres from the Tuscan city of Lucca. Concealed by an unassuming set of gates, the sprawling 80-hectare grounds encompass an 18,000-square-metre primary residence, several gardens, an outdoor theatre, clock tower, grotto, additional villas and two chapels, among other hidden delights.

As with similar estates in the region, the pine-green-shuttered Villa Reale has experienced multiple rebirths in its lifetime. Once a medieval fortress belonging to the Duke of Tuscia, the property was converted into a residence and owned by a string of noble families before it was eventually purchased by the Orsetti brothers, Olivieri and Lelio, in 1651. It’s believed the pair demolished the ancient building, using the bones to construct the late Renaissance-style dwelling that stands today.

At one stage, the villa was home to Élisa Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister and the Princess of Lucca, who lived there from 1806 and oversaw major works to the estate until the Corsican leader’s abdication forced her exit from the kingdom in 1814. Count and Countess Pecci-Blunt are also past owners;  acquiring the villa in 1923, they hosted an array of artists, aristocrats and jetsetters, from Salvador Dalí to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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The mise en scène at Palazzo Corsini. Photography courtesy of Cartier.

A phoenix once more, Villa Reale has been the subject of meticulous restoration work in recent years, at the hands of its current owners, Henric and Marina Grönberg. On an average week it’s not unusual to see members of the public touring  its pastel-frescoed halls, sipping Friday aperitifs on its manicured lawns or saying their “I dos” beside the lake. For the next few weeks, however, its charcoal double doors are open only to a select few — the media, the ultra wealthy, and friends of the house of Cartier — for the unveiling of the French brand’s new high jewellery collection, Le Voyage Recommencé (The Journey Started Again).

Cartier’s guests are invited to snake their way through the villa, examining the one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, rings and tiaras, alongside glittery pieces from the brand’s archives,  spread across two floors of the rectangular villa. No detail is spared. A welcome gift contains Cartier-branded hand sanitiser. Golf buggies are on hand to transport guests to the grotto. A pop-up restaurant has been constructed in the aptly named Lemon Garden, where more than 200 citrus plants line a historic fishpond and a sculpture of Leda and the Swan is flanked by a pair of reclining marble giants. 

On summer evenings in the early 1800s, the violinist Niccolò Paganini would perform in the gardens for Elisa Bonaparte. Today, a string quartet dressed in pistachio-coloured gowns fills the air with contemporary music covers. The scene might feel as though it has been ripped from an episode of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” series, were it not for the waiters’ Italian accents yanking you back to the equally cinematic reality. 

Experiential launches that eschew or supplement the couture calendar are not uncommon in the luxury jewellery landscape. Last year, Cartier flew clients and members of the press to Madrid to view its 100-piece Beautés du Monde collection in the capital’s abandoned British embassy, a Brutalist building that it transformed into a temporary museum inspired by the natural world. A sizeable portion of high jewellery sales are made during events such as these, and Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton are also scheduled to stage destination presentations this year.

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A panther set with onyx spots rests on the aquamarine-laden Panthère Givrée necklace. Image courtesy of Cartier.
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The art deco-style Ondule ring showcases a rare grey-violet diamond from Western Australia. Image courtesy of Cartier.

For Cartier, however, the stakes seem higher. Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton release multiple ready-to-wear, and sometimes couture, collections annually. And though accessories, timepieces and soft goods feature in Cartier’s product stable, the roots of the Richemont-owned company, and its growth, are in jewellery. In a report released by the Swiss-based conglomerate charting performance for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, sales in its Jewellery Maisons division (which includes Cartier alongside Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels) increased to about $22 billion. While Richemont doesn’t reveal figures for individual brands, the report notes that “Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels reaffirmed their market leadership with a high level of sales growth and profitability.”

Le Voyage Recommencé is a multi-day Tuscan immersion. Later in the evening, guests will attend a gala dinner in the garden of Florence’s Palazzo Corsini, where the newly appointed global Cartier ambassador Elle Fanning, and the actors Vanessa Kirby, Golshifteh Farahani, Gong Li and Riley Keough, will mingle and model high jewellery creations. Entertainment comes care of the award-winning British singer-songwriter Labrinth, with a surprise DJ set by the Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody. Sore heads will find comfort the following day with a Champagne brunch at the privately owned Villa Medici de Fiesole, a 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage-listed estate perched in the hills overlooking Florence. The objective is clear: high jewellery shines brightest when worn, and it’s imperative that clients feel moved and safe enough in their surroundings to take their multimillion-dollar treasures for a spin.

Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s image, style and heritage director, explains that selecting a location is as much a practical consideration as it is an aesthetic one. Does the region have enough hotels and transport facilities to service the volume (and, assumedly, prestige) of its clients, for example? (Rainero won’t divulge the number of shoppers expected to attend over the next fortnight, offering only that “we count them in the hundreds”.) In tandem, the setting must be suitable “in terms of beauty, in terms of inspiration for our clients, and surprise,” he adds.

The Tuscan capital — the birthplace of the Renaissance — and its surrounding regions not only ticked the boxes in terms of the brand’s logistical requirements, they also align with Cartier’s commitment to artisanal crafts, its obsession with heritage and pursuit of creative innovation. Once the region was decided, the collection’s presentation venue soon fell into place. 

By way of explanation, Rainero reflects on the villa at the time of the Pecci-Blunts. “This famous couple at the centre of a cafe society, hosting all those parties with all of our clients, from Jean Cocteau to Barbara Hutton,” he says. “We have a contemporary history linked to Cartier in that house, on the basis of a much longer history, and a very artistic history.”

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The designer and architect Patricia Urquiola channels house motifs in the jewellery display at Villa Reale di Marlia. Photography courtesy of Cartier.
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The Pandjara necklace features a 3.29-carat brown-yellow diamond. Photography courtesy of Cartier.

As with fashion, seasonal jewellery releases can find their shape in imaginative or conceptual themes. The way Rainero describes it, Le Voyage Recommencé manifests more as a statement of fact; this release — chapter one — is a 78-piece voyage to the heart of Cartier’s design identity. As the guardian angel of the company’s heritage and aesthetic language, Rainero works alongside the maison’s high jewellery creative director, Jacqueline Karachi, to establish the intention for the line. Considering the brand’s strong post-lockdown rebound and increasing diversity among high jewellery clientele (Middle Eastern, Asian and Australian markets are reportedly on the rise), this year seemed like the right time to reacquaint the world with what Rainero describes as “the vision of Cartier today, in terms of shapes, in terms of aesthetical vocabulary, in terms of what should be
a beautiful piece of jewellery”.

At Villa Reale di Marlia, the ground floor hosts the never-before-seen collection in which, as Rainero puts it, “everything starts with the stone”. He points to a standout piece, the Distrysia necklace, featuring a modified step-cut hexagonally shaped 13.78-carat diamond the colour of burnt butter. “It’s not the most precious diamond, definitely, but it’s very, very rare in terms of cut,” he says. “It’s very interesting in terms of colour because it’s very warm.”

The shape of the central stone bleeds into the white-gold design, and subtly curved sapphires, amethysts, lapis lazuli, obsidian and pink, brown and white diamonds feather outwards in an abstract rendering of Egyptian scarab wings. “It shows how a piece is conceived at Cartier,” says Rainero. “The design of a necklace itself is totally linked to that asymmetry of a stone.”

Another highlight is the Ondule ring, a stacked art deco-style piece that supports a 0.92-carat grey-violet diamond — among the last of its kind, it was sourced from the Argyle mine in Western Australia’s East Kimberley region, and was acquired by Cartier before the mine’s 2020 closure.

The rest of the exhibit is segmented into the maison’s greatest hits. There’s geometry — a key feature of many Cartier collections — which emerged in the brand’s design books as early as 1903. The businessman and brand heir Louis Cartier was fascinated by the geometric designs, arabesques and patterns at the “Islamic Arts” exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and he integrated them as a signature code of the maison. It is represented in this year’s  collection by the architectural Acaste necklace, featuring a 26.04-carat cabochon-cut black opal that looks like the surface of some distant planet.

Flora and fauna, another prominent motif of the house, is present in the diamond-encrusted petals of the Magnolidae set, and a brooch starring a black nephrite jade panther lazing beside a pear-shaped rubellite.

Travel and exploration have been sources of inspiration for the house since its inception in 1847. The Girih necklace — a chromatic alchemy of diamonds, Zambian emeralds and cut-to-measure turquoise that took more than 1,500 hours to create — draws overtly from the foundations of Islamic art and architecture. In keeping with another Cartier tradition of transformable pieces, the pendant can be detached and styled as a brooch.

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A model wears the Acaste necklace, featuring a 26.04-carat black opal. Photography courtesy of Cartier.

On the floor above, an expansive selection from the high and traditional jewellery archives is on display. In curating this veritable jewellery box, Cartier enlisted Patricia Urquiola, marking the company’s second project with the Spanish-born, Milan-based designer and architect. In 2021, the brand staged its Sixième Sens par Cartier high jewellery reveal at Il Sereno — the luxury Lake Como hotel Urquiola designed in 2016 — and it recruited her to helm the concept scenography.

“Women gave energy to this villa,” says Urquiola of this year’s presentation. “There is a magical feminine touch in the layers of this villa which [demand] respect.” Indeed, there is a softness to the building’s neoclassical interior; it favours beige and light grey tones, and the floor is a contrasting mix of pale pink and grey terrazzo, and marble. The combined effect is one of gentle envelopment, a sensation Urquiola sought to enhance through the use of plinths made with innovative materials and florals.

Urquiola’s team spent several months in research and development, speaking with the designers and craftspeople at Cartier’s high jewellery workshop in Paris to understand the desire behind each piece. “Everything is intended to announce the incredible energy of the jewels,” she says. “But the real thing is to make them echo, because you can’t imagine how much work is in the back of those designs.”

Urquiola’s scenography, featuring platforms made from thick 3D-printed corrugated waves of ochre-coloured recycled plastic, as well as layers of clay, and crystal, serves as a deftly constructed bridge between the collection and the villa. The word that springs to mind is “perfection”, though Urquiola is quick to dispel the impression. “Don’t think it’s perfect,” she says. “The imperfection is part of the path of doing a beautiful work; being experimental. I think Cartier let me experiment, they didn’t ask me for perfection. They know they have to explore new things.”

Urquiola gestures animatedly towards the plinths of unevenly stacked clay slabs and the rustic arrangements of dried flowers overflowing from their display confines. “I think this week is not a week for a pragmatic idea of selling,” she says (a true creative idealist). “It’s a week of putting the people in a film, in a situation, in an experience of culture — an experience that people understand. And if people appreciate it, they understand then [the] extreme quality of a company like Cartier.”

At that evening’s gala, standing a stone’s throw from the Palazzo Corsini’s onsite artworks (by Rubens, Fra Angelico and Caravaggio), Cartier’s CEO, Cyrille Vigneron, speaks of the significance of bringing the collection to the birthplace of the Renaissance. “What those people at that time — architects, designers, artists, philosophers — did was not to invent something else completely,” says Vigneron. “They looked to the past, they looked to ancient Rome, and from there found ways of aesthetics, philosophy, sculpture and art to create something absolutely modern.

“Because modernity is not to create something new. Modernity is to have fresh eyes on things. To find what can be truly human and universal.”

In The Rough: Jewellery That Reveals The Hidden Elegance of Ordinary Objects

It’s easy enough creating beautiful jewellery inspired by a flower or an elegant animal, but what of a bare bone or a handful of loose coins? Here, the iconic pieces inspired by unexpected or everyday objects.

Article by Mariela Summerhays

Elsa Peretti_BeanA mood board depicting Elsa Peretti's iconic Bean pendant, first released by Tiffany & Co. in 1974. Photography courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Many first encounters with the humble bean occur hovering over the kitchen sink, watching as a parent’s hands stir cloudy water. Or during bedtime, watching in minds’ eyes as Jack’s mother throws a magic few out of the open window. Diminutive, unassuming, and most of all, commonplace, it might’ve been surprising that the Italian designer Elsa Peretti should choose the bean’s organic form as her inspiration for fine jewellery. Her tiny Bean design, however, has endured since it was first introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1974 — passed down from mother to daughter — with new iterations released last year. It may just be that humans have always found comfort in the ordinary.

“Many cultures and religions advocate for the mundane,” says the psychotherapist Mitchell Smolkin. There, on our bodies, before we even contemplate accessories, we can see it in our clothes. “Think of the business suit, historically meant to ensure that everyone is equal, and that no one stands out; or the many religions that advocate for modesty in appearance, such as Mormons, Amish, Orthodox Jews and Christians,” Smolkin continues. He observes that despite humility being espoused as a virtue throughout history, that same history reflects that we are not always so eager to embrace it.

“There is a thread in history, philosophy and religion that underscores our deep appetite for more —  and the restraint necessary to come to terms with the never-ending anxiety that awaits us if we take this pursuit literally,” Smolkin says. He references the book of Exodus, when Moses descends with the Ten Commandments and upon witnessing followers worshipping a golden calf, he smashes the tablets in a rage; or Siddhartha, giving up his incredible wealth to search for inner fulfilment and peace. “As Jaques Lacan, the French psychoanalyst said, when it comes to objects, the formula is one plus one equals three. There is our desire; the object; and the third is the anxiety that is always left over, as our desire is never met.”

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The performer Liza Minnelli wears Elsa Peretti's Bone Cuff in 1974, photographed by Terry O'Neill.
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Aldo Cipullo, the mind behind Cartier's nail-inspired Juste un Clou collection.

How to manage this anxiety? In psychology, the mere-exposure effect suggests that objects that are familiar to us evoke a sense of warmth and comfort, as we are not presented with something new and foreign that might carry the potential for anxiety. Like the gift you were given by a grandparent, Smolkin offers, or driving by the house of your childhood. “While we prioritise progress and movement, especially in capitalism, where the cycle of what is old is getting shorter and shorter, we know that this does not lead to fulfilment.” It is therefore understandable that jewellery design will often come from that most encountered in nature; or when it extends beyond, to the manmade, it is the utilitarian made over in precious materials — that which we all recognise and possess.

Fundamental to many morning rituals are the coffee beans we grind, brew and extract for scent and energy. The Grain de Café collection — first appearing at Cartier in 1938, before gaining widespread popularity in the ‘50s and ‘60s— has just been reintroduced to younger generations with a new campaign. Clustered together on dainty chains, the tiny charms draw attention to the simple beauty of the bean before it’s turned to powder to taste. Otherwise, the inspiration comes from something encountered in childhood, where all sources of comfort (and conversely, trauma) stem. “As a child, I kept on visiting the cemetery of a 17th-century Capuchin church with my nanny,” Peretti explained in the catalogue for a 1990 exhibition of her Tiffany & Co.’s Bone collection. “All the rooms were decorated with human bones. My mother had to send me back, time and again, with a stolen bone in my little purse.”

Juste un Clou (French for ‘just a nail’), is among Aldo Cipullo’s most beloved contributions to Cartier. Of the nail-inspired design that has decorated wrists since its introduction in New York during the late ‘60s, his brother, Renato Cipullo, and jewellery historian, Vivienne Becker, said in “Cipullo: Making Jewellery Modern” that it motivated “the transition from formal, courtly, extravagant precious jewels to everyday talismans that encapsulated and reflected the world around them.” Lastly, Bulgari’s Monete collection, built around antique coins in the tradition of the Ancient Romans, with jewellery mounts adhering to, and emphasising, the coins’ imperfect edges. “We offer an ancient coin, a relic of the past, the prospect of a second life,” Nicola Bulgari is reported to have once said. “Instead of leaving it closed in a drawer, we transform it into a living thing.”

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The Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly wears the Cartier's Grain de Cafe necklace on a 1957 stamp.

And so, back to the bean, which has been elevated to such a status by Peretti, all those decades ago. For such an unassuming seed, a closer look will reveal it as that symbol most synonymous with death and life. The ancient Romans believed that the plant of fava beans was directly linked with the underworld due to its long roots and hollow stems; and so considered able to bring the dead back to the world of the living. It is beans that enrich soil for future planting, while providing life-nourishing nutrients; it is no coincidence that it was beans that brought Jack and his mother a better life. “Perhaps a return to basic objects and forms is soothing,” Smolkin concludes. “It cuts through a manic pursuit of escaping our situation and instead, puts us in touch with what is fundamental.”