Perennially popular and always in vogue
Part 3 of 3
By Ron Dupuis
The Gingko species has been determined by botanists to be the most ancient type of tree on earth and the distinctive symbol is recognized as the maker’s mark for prominent West Coast designer Karl Stittgen. The fan-shaped, bi-lobed leaves were also an inspiration for Angela Cummings when she designed an 18-karat gold pair of elegantly sweeping brooches for Tiffany & Co.
Van Cleef & Arpels’ bountiful leaf series includes myriad brooches, many with mystery settings, those intriguing invisible mountings decorated with rubies, sapphires, or emeralds, stylized versions of what could be ivy, oak, maple, rose, or grape leaves. Maybe not exactly botanically correct, but nonetheless beautiful in their form and exquisite in technical mastery and superb craftsmanship.
Georg Jensen designers are admirably noted for their use of natural inspiration. Leaf motifs enhance bracelets, rings, necklaces, and cufflinks; useful everyday items like fruit bowls, bookmarks, letter openers, table clocks, and candlesticks benefit from the sinuous or edgier lines executed mostly in sterling silver.
The master goldsmiths at Buccellati use leaf motifs on many of their signature bangles, including a wide openwork cuff bracelet boldly decorated with curving oak leaves in 18-karat gold. Even the skeletonized outline of a leaf can be lovely when it’s made of delicate openwork tracery, tiny round diamonds decorating white gold outlines and done with finesse by an unknown jeweller.
Designers will continue to find inspiration in the endless variety of beautiful leaf shapes. Take a ‘leaf’ out of their jewellery design book to enjoy the many pleasures of great foliate motifs.
Read the full article: Leaf motifs