By Jen Herring
We all know the familiar saying, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” For weeks, local residents had their tickets and were ready to spend Presidents Day weekend viewing elegant antiques that catch the eye at first sight.
“Tens of thousands” of people attended the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show, show officials said. That number exceeded last year’s attendance at the show, which is billed as the largest art and antique show in the nation.
The show, which took place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, featured over 200 international exhibitors from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Turkey and Sweden.
The walls of the black-draped showroom were dark except for small lights cast onto silverware, jewelry, paintings, ceramics and other intricate pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Audrey Friedman and Haim Manishevitz, both owners of Primavera Gallery in New York, N.Y., have been traveling Europe for 40 years discovering one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.
“Our pieces are very unique,” Friedman said. “If we sell four or five pieces, then we have a great show.”
The European jewelry on display was colorful and came in many shapes and textures not typically seen in the United States. Friedman spoke with passion and in great detail about every item of jewelry.
“Everything is so special,” Friedman said.
She placed a Marchak 6.5 carat diamond ring in the shape of a leaf on her finger and said, smiling, “It’s as though a leaf has fallen onto your finger.”
The ring is from France, like the majority of their jewelry, and retails for about $65,000.
Another one of her favorite pieces was the “swag” diamond bow brooch with pearl drops dripping at the end of two diamond ties. The ends and top portion of the bow drape like a carefully arranged diamond curtain.
During this time period much of the jewelry had a sense of movement to it that we don’t commonly see in jewelry today, Friedman added. Bracelets had tiny gold-plated rings linked together on the back, which allowed for free movement and less chance of damage.
Naturalism flourished during this time period, and it shows within how the jewelry was designed, Friedman explained.
Many of the hand-made pieces they discover are not signed.
“The signature became important after the 19th century,” Friedman said.
Although they carry several signed items of jewelry such as Tiffany and Co. and Cartier, she said the unsigned pieces still have quality and are just as “special.”
Pieces from their exquisite jewelry collection are featured in various magazines such as Vogue, Palm Beach Illustrated, Town and Country and others for fashion spreads or editorial mentions.