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GIA LONDON CAMPUS

104 Great Russell Street

WC1B

United Kingdom

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The talk will be about the way jewels have led me towards my career and how they have enhanced my life and in the same way give meaning and joy to so many others.

About me:
I do not come from a jewellery or fine art background. Even so, jewellery had always fascinated me, so much so my mother had to hide her jewel case to stop me going through it. (I still found it though..).
I grew up in an army family, moving from various barracks in England, Germany and then Northern Ireland.
In 1977 (when I was 6 years old) my parents went back to England and when there they visited the first comprehensive exhibition of the works of Peter Carl Faberge at the V&A. They brought back the catalogue and while flicking through it I became entranced, not only by the design of the pieces, but by the way he had used hard stones to create objects of simple beauty.
I did not understand what these things were nor who they had been made for, just knew that their delicate beauty entranced me.
As a boy I collected small pink and purple pearls from the muscles we gathered in near Loch Foyle (and the outflow from Londonderry sewage works..!) as well as sparkling volcanic rocks from Giants Causeway.
We then moved back to England. Various visits to exhibitions at the V&A inspired me more, particularly “Princely Magnificence” on jewels of the renaissance. Later, in 1984 Wartski exhibited pieces by Castellani and Giuliano and I met a now long time friend Geoffrey Munn who encouraged my passion.
Then in 1987 the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor came up for auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva. The headmaster of my school gave permission to take a few days off and go to see them and this changed my life.
Never had I seen pieces of such outstanding quality, using the finest stones, designed and made by incredible artists before, it was a revelation.
That same year, I visited an antique show at the Dorchester hotel and got talking to a Ian Harris, the owner of the Jewellers N. Bloom

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GIA LONDON CAMPUS

104 Great Russell Street

WC1B

United Kingdom

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