A journey in search of inspiration. East replaces West, Asia replaces Europe, and one great city, another. The caravan route from Venice to Samarkand was around 6,000 kilometres long. It played an important role in the exchange of overseas goods and intercultural experiences, and was one of the most important routes of the Great Silk Road. Inspired by the atmosphere of the two legendary cities, in mid-2015 the Swiss House of Piaget created a collection of ninety-five high jewelry masterpieces. They made up two chapters: “Secrets of Venice” and “Lights of Samarkand”. After one and a half years of wandering around the world, nineteen of them came to Moscow.
The distant wandering of Piaget
It wasn’t the first time that the brand’s designers were inspired by the theme of peregrination. At the end of 2014, Piaget had already showed the “A Mythical Journey” collection, devoting it to India and China. Secret & Lights only continued the geographical study of the House.
Venice vs. Samarkand
As earlier, designers used a lot of marquise-cut diamonds, skilfully combining them with stones of other shapes. They also once again demonstrated excellent work with gold. For example, in the Serenissima Emerald Cuff Bracelet from the Secret of Venice chapter, a metal engraving technique is used. When executed, jewelers manually apply parallel, uneven grooves to the surface of the piece, imitating the texture of silk. One of the most famous items of the collection, the Lion Constellation ring, all from the same Venetian theme, has a secret. Crowned with Kashmir sapphire, the diamond lid may be shifted, revealing the champlevé enamel night sky. In the Middle-ages such a piece could be intended for storing poison. Today they may be used to hide sentimental little things from prying eyes.
Regarding the Lights of Samarkand chapter, designers of the House tried to make it not too oriental. They avoided the direct quotation of ornaments. Instead, the artists came up with their own decorative patterns, which can be traced in the Mirabilia ring with a cushion-cut 6 carat sapphire, as well as in an Arabyshka diamond necklace reminiscent of hand-woven lace.