When you hear the name Boucheron, chances are you’ll think of the maison’s brilliant work with animal-inspired designs. The brand is known for its craftsmanship and innovative techniques, transforming gemstones and metal into works of art.
This is particularly evident when it comes to pieces that showcase animals such as leopards, chameleons, deer and birds of all sizes. These creatures, majestic in their own right, are replicated beautifully by the maison, and the Bouquet d’Ailes (HK$ 6,770,000) is another exquisite example.
The creators of the necklace looked to the naturalist period of the 1900s, and designed a modern reinterpretation of Boucheron’s signature Point d’Interrogation (Question Mark) necklace. Inspired by butterflies, dragonflies and peacocks, the brand produced a necklace that evokes the lightness and majesty of those creatures. The best part? Thanks to the craftsmen’s mastery of the trembleur technique, the wings and feathers on the necklace appear to flutter gently along with the wearer’s movements.
The end result, thanks to the coloured gemstones and wing-inspired motifs, has almost a floral effect to it. It’s no wonder that the brand named this masterpiece Bouquet d’Ailes – Bouquet of Wings.
Boucheron is known for its stunning animal pieces, and aerial creatures such as butterflies, dragonflies and peacocks add another dimension to its jewellery due to their colourful wings and feathers. The maison’s craftsmen, already masters of the art of enamelling, replicate the transparency and movement of these motifs through exquisite design and meticulous detail.
One of the key challenges the craftsmen face is the choice and assembly of gemstones for the Bouquet d’Ailes. The three large emeralds have to be carefully sourced, and two of them are complemented by a collection of smaller, lighter-hued emeralds, cut to size in order to enhance – but not overpower – the brilliance of the larger stones.
Paying homage to the creative genius of nature and craftsmen, the Bouquet d’Ailes is a tribute to the past and a nod to the famous butterfly brooch created in 1901, worn on the shoulder of Elizabeth Taylor. A light and graceful piece, this creation is particularly prized for its ability to move. The jeweller has called upon two exceptional techniques here: the “no casting” technique and the “trembleur” technique.
The creations have all been crafted in the traditional manner, working directly on the metal, without any gold casting. Boucheron is one of the last maisons of Place Vendôme to master this demanding and ancient technique.
The trembleur (“to tremble” in French) technique is another process perfected by the brand. The piece includes mobile elements called trembleurs that are set under some of the key motifs. This process animates the wings, making them flutter with the movements of the necklace’s wearer.
Boucheron’s masterpiece required 2 kilograms of gold at the beginning of its creation, with a final weight of about 300 grams. The necklace took more than nine months of craftwork, over 1,250 working hours and in excess of 2,300 stones.