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Green with envy: precious brooch as pricey as an apartment

Vivian Chen

 

WHAT: 'STILLED-LIFE' BROOCH BY WALLACE CHAN
HOW MUCH: ABOUT HK$300 MILLION

 

WHY: In the world of high-end jewellery, nothing is too extravagant for Wallace Chan, last year’s first and only Chinese jeweller at the prestigious Paris Biennale des Antiquaires. This exquisite brooch costs as much as a Mid-Levels flat, not only due to the rarity of its precious stones, but also because Chan has honed his skills over the past 40 years.

The jeweller-artist says: “Each piece of jade, on its own, is a composition of different shades. Its harmonic green was achieved through a painstaking search for the perfect colour, quality and transparency.”

The brooch is inspired by a Yu Shinan poem that dates back to the Tang dynasty. Chan immortalised the cicada using imperial jadeite – the holy grail of the jade family – to showcase the fullness of the insect’s curves and the lightness of its wings. Its back is crafted in equally delicate detail and embedded with a piece of lavender jade. Diamonds and titanium outline its veins and legs. The eyes are dotted with precious rubies and almost bring the cicada to life.

 

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