Timeless pieces of jewellery designed by Japanese master of lacquer, M. Hokose for Van Cleef & Arpels are on display at the jewellery house’ boutique in the new Bur Juman Centre in Dubai until end January. The exhibition and window dressing in Dubai forms part of the limited edition collection’s worldwide tour.
A great classic in the history of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery, the butterfly clip has inspired a number of creations.
The famous Japanese master of lacquer, Hokose, has applied his ancestral craftsmanship in his own interpretation of the butterfly motif. He has engaged his artistry in these butterflies in wood or mother-of-pearl and bodies set with diamonds.
Eighteen exquisite pieces of delicacy and grace have come from the hands of this great artist. Their ethereal cameos of silver, dark red, grey, beige and gold and their traditional Japanese designs are marked by infinite elegance and create a subtle play of light and shade.
A numbered, limited edition work, the Butterfly Collection blends refinement and poetry with the celebrated and intricate arts of lacquer work and fine jewellery that originated in Wajima, Japan.
Mr. Hakose's workshop, which has been creating lacquered art since the 16th Century, uses a traditional lacquering method called ‘urushi’, dating back to the Edo period. The Edo era is a division of Japanese history running from 1600 to 1867. The Edo period is also known as the beginning of the early modern period of Japan.
The port town of Wajima, in northeastern Japan, is home to the world famous Wajima Nuri style of Japanese lacquer ware, which has earned worldwide recognition as one of Japan's most important cultural assets. Each piece of art in the Van Cleef & Arpels lacquered butterfly collection is created by hand, and each design is inspired by historical patterns. The delicacy of the realised work and the detail of each pattern reflect master craftsmanship.
This art form originated in China in 100 BC during the Han Dynasty. The first function of lacquer was to protect domestic objects since lacquer is resistant against water and dirt. Later, this discipline was used in a more art-oriented manner. Japanese artists began using it from around the 6th century. By improving the technique, this craft became identified with Japanese civilization. From simple implements to luxury objects, through architecture and statues, lacquer has a great versatility of use.
Traditional Japanese lacquer is created with the resin extracted from the trunk of the urushi tree or lacquer tree. Its scientific name is rhus vernicifera. The sap of this tree contains a resin-urushiol, which when exposed to moist air, polymerises and becomes a very hard, durable plastic-like substance called lacquer.