Nature is the best source of inspiration for jewelry design. Combining gorgeous diamonds, colored gemstones, and valuable precious gems, the unique body structures, original patterns, and colors of different wild animals can be depicted in the fanciful forms of charms, which have brought luxurious jewelry in diverse styles.
CHAUMET以非洲動物形象為主題的 《 動物狂想曲 》主題作品了結合工藝、趣味與異國情調於一身，這套作品由肯亞藝術家Evans Mbugua設計，除了腕錶之外，還包含了六枚造型生動活潑的動物胸針，有白雲環繞的長頸鹿，還有一改充滿雄性兇猛的獅子等。同樣以動物為題，CHAUMET另一個取材自日本文化的Parade新作，則以細膩的設計語彙詮釋鳥禽，將鳥類飛翔時輕盈且優美的體態以詩意華美的方式呈現。
同樣擅長詮釋動物的梵克雅寶，則是呈現出細緻溫和且帶著一絲俏皮氣息，梵克雅寶最早知名的動物作品要數1954年開始推出的La Boutique迷你動物小胸針，經過童趣演繹將獅子、老虎這類兇猛的動物轉化得可愛且平易近人，同樣的設計語彙也仍在近代梵克雅寶的作品中依稀可見。以挪亞方舟為靈感的L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels系列是梵克雅寶近年最大的動物相關主題作品，所囊括的動物類型與使用的寶石種類都相當大量且個個精彩，尤其為呼應挪亞方舟故事中動物是成雙成對帶上船的細節，梵克雅寶此次所設計的動物也都是雙雙對對，更增加了難度，因為要將兩隻相同的動物並排，既要各有姿態又要彼此和諧，而且還要尋得可匹配的寶石運用其上，梵克雅寶在這一系列幾乎都只用細緻但簡潔的線條展現動物輪廓與特質，以畫龍點睛的質材妝點但所展現的主題完整性與美感，實在叫人不得不佩服梵克雅寶的精湛功力。
It’s an extraordinary feeling when we look at animal-shaped jewelry. These depictions of animals require jewelry designers’ sharp observation and exclusive interpretation of art that ensures we see the beauty of animals we often fail to notice. In the world of jewelry, each brand has its interpretation of animals; different brands expose different meanings of animal postures, and they even further convey the abstract significance hidden in the image of animals. While the diversity of natural species makes us amazed and impressed, such as iridescent colors in birds, a variety of reptilian postures, spots, or patterns that animals use for camouflage, etc., jewelry is the best object that echoes the diversity of nature. So far, the greatest natural color ranges can be displayed by gems found in nature, pure and clear diamonds, bright rubies and sapphires, green emeralds, tanzanite in blue and purple, orange topaz, opal stones that come in many colors, etc. They reveal a magical color contrast.
In ancient times, people had more closely bonded interactions with animals. Making jewelry accessories in animal shapes has been found dating back to ancient times. The Romans began to show their identity and social status with gold snake armbands several years before Christ. In the East, there is a culture using a variety of auspicious animal displays and accessories. Although the meanings of animals are very different from Eastern and Western cultures, but there is the same consistent taste in the aesthetics of blending animal images into jewelry design. This has given animal-shaped jewelry a classic status ever since. These pieces of animal-shaped jewelry are like totems, which are beyond the long-standing image of history and culture and deeply remembered. Cartier’s panther is the one of the iconic designs of the brand. The panther was found in jewelry design as early as 1914, but Cartier’s world of panther started under design director Jeanne Toussaint during years from 1933 to 1970. She created brooches, bracelets, necklaces, and watches, with panther shape. With the passing of time, Cartier has created more diverse forms of the panther, in the world of two-dimensional subspace and three-dimensional space, the panther has shown its glamor in either concrete or abstract forms.
Cartier depicts the panther in elegance and wildness, while the scary snake is interpreted by Bvlgari in mystery and boldness to make it irresistibly attractive. No matter what meaning the snake symbolizes in Eastern and Western cultures, its unique body structure fits the design of jewelry. The natural postures of how a snake moves, bending, straight, spiral, and entangling, have better formability than other animals to be applied in the design of rings, bracelets, earrings, and pendants. The body of the snake is suitable for showing the rhythm and shapes of jewelry, snake head is a good characteristic for distinctive creation; the Bvlgari Serpenti collection is the most representative due to Bvlgari featuring the Italian bold character of wildness and colors as well as the audacious creativity that makes it easy to depict snake themes; in particular, Bvlgari has achieved the best balance between the real and artistic image of snakes. Besides the application of physical forms of snakes to the design, Bvlgari has made the snake scales become abstract geometry as elements of design; even though there’s no snake shape, the geometric structure have conveyed the fascination of snakes. Cartier and Bvlgari are the top brands that best fulfill the use of animals’ wild beauty. In the eyes of Boucheron, the animals are mild and romantic. Animal-shaped jewelry has been the best of the works of Boucheron, which owns an animal jewelry collection with dozens of designs. The characters of these rare and precious animals have been depicted perfectly by Boucheron. Some designs intensify the quality of animal shapes, and others are as lively as freezing the moment of the animals. Boucheron has a diversity of animal jewelry works that carry specific deep meanings, including hummingbirds, hedgehogs, parrots, swans, chameleons, polar bears, etc.
CHAUMET has launched the “Espiègleries”, which is themed by African animals and integrates craftsmanship, fun, and exotic beauty; this collection is designed by the Kenya artist Evans Mbugua, and in addition to watches, it includes six animal-shaped brooches featuring lively and cute designs, including a giraffe surrounded by the white cloud, a fierce lion, etc. The other collection that is themed by animals, CHAUMET has launched a new collection inspired by Japanese culture, Parade, which uses intricate design to depict birds and show the elegant postures of birds poetically and luxuriously. Van Cleef & Arpels, which is the other brand good at designing animal-shaped jewelry, is renowned for the launch of La Boutique mini animal-shaped brooches in 1954. These fierce animals like lions and tigers are transformed into lovely and amiable images with fun design elements, which can be seen in other contemporary works of Van Cleef & Arpels. There are a great amount of all animal shapes and types of gemstones and they look amazing. In particular, in response to the story of Noah’s Ark, all on-board animals are in pairs. Van Cleef & Arpels has to take the challenge to make the same animals stand next to each other and their postures are different but harmonious as well as the collection of suitable gems on the works. Van Cleef & Arpels uses subtle but simple lines to show the contours and the quality of animals, the highlighted decoration keeps the theme so sound and beautiful that Van Cleef & Arpels won everyone’s appreciation.The craftsmanship and art of the brands of jewelry can be observed from how they use lines to contour, the collection of gems, and the skills of mounting to show animal’s lively nature and vitality on the jewelry works. Some are the perfect imitation of the real animals, while others carry charm in the postures of animals. The tactful skills on the collection of gemstones fit the real colors of animals. The rich diversity of animal-shaped jewelry is beyond our imagination, which is why there are new collections launched every year and no one can resist their fascination.