Avant-Garde Artistry: Nicholas Lieou’s Capsule Collection for Sotheby's Diamonds

In 2019, the auction house Sotheby’s, in partnership with Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby's Asia, launched the pioneering Sotheby’s Diamonds project, which combines the most exclusive and coveted diamonds, cutting-edge design, superb craftsmanship and the work of some of the world’s most gifted jewellers. Last year, three capsule collections were revealed to the public and, on September 7, 2020, Sotheby’s Diamonds unveiled its fourth collaborative project, which is the work of the avant-garde jeweller Nicholas Lieou.

Lieou is a jewellery prodigy who finds poetry in complementary opposites: minimalism and maximalism, strength and fragility, the masculine and the feminine, the influence of the past as well as a distinctively modern design. His capsule collection for Sotheby’s Diamonds draws inspiration from the duality of the yin and yang. The 10 unique pieces that comprise Lieou’s capsule collection showcase the powerful beauty of rare diamonds and an original design aesthetic inspired by Eastern and Western aesthetics and the symmetry of simple lines, as well as the Art Deco style.

Lieou shared his thoughts:

“For my collaboration with Sotheby's Diamonds, the beauty of nature became my inspiration - seed pods and flora came to mind as I wanted to encase and protect these beautifully rare stones. The modern designs allow these exceptional diamonds to remain the focal point of the jewel. The technical complexities of the collection are a testament to both the high level of craftsmanship at Sotheby's Diamonds and the brand's strong commitment to creating truly extraordinary pieces.”          

Speaking of stones, the most striking example in the collection is a spectacular 4.40-carat Fancy Deep Bluish-Green cushion-cut diamond. Surrounded by a pavé diamond cocoon, it nestles in the centre of a platinum Pod ring. Equally cosy is the attachment of two impeccable round cut D colour, Flawless diamonds of 6.69 and 6.61 carats in the Pendulum earrings. The diamonds are supported by platinum hammocks, themselves studded with pavé diamonds. At the very centre of the Reishi Edge earrings we also encounter round colourless stones of 3.15 and 3.01 carats, which are accentuated by an ebony fan.

The pear and rose cuts have also found their place in the collection. A 4.50 carat D colour, Internally Flawless diamond flower shimmers at the centre of the Cocoon Rosé ring, while the 5.24 and 5.28 carat D colour, Internally Flawless “fruits” find themselves bathed in a diamond cascade in the collection’s Willow earrings.

Founder and chairman of Sotheby’s DiamondsPatti Wong, kindly shared her take on Sotheby’s collaboration with Lieou:

“I have been following Nicholas’ work for many years and I am delighted that we have finally found the time to work together. Nicholas approaches jewellery as an art form and has a unique vision -a constant and fearless desire to innovate, nurtured by a deep knowledge of the history of jewellery. He also has a great appreciation of craftsmanship and a deep understanding and respect for the materials he uses. This is the essence of Sotheby’s Diamonds and this collection is a fantastic interpretation of our aesthetic: timeless, original designs with a touch of irreverence which let the diamonds speak and enhance their natural beauty.”

You are probably wondering how Sotheby’s Diamonds managed to find so many beautiful diamonds in such a short time. For its latest endeavour, Sotheby’s entered into a partnership with Diacore, world-leading experts in the field of discovering, cutting and polishing unique diamonds. This collaboration leaves me very optimistic that we will be seeing new creations from Sotheby’s Diamonds, Patti Wong and invited jewellers in the near future.

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