This fall, jewellery connoisseurs all over Asia and beyond will have their eyes glued to the bejewelled cabinet of curiosities being unveiled at Sotheby’s ‘Jewels of Curiosity: Ode to Nature’ online auction, to be held on 20 September 2020 in Hong Kong.

The exquisite pieces – all inspired by nature – going under the hammer feature curated works by established brands and contemporary designers, including Mumbai-based designer Vishal Kothari. Handcrafted diamond blossoms and vines from Kothari’s high jewellery line, VAK, are sure to shine bright at the auction.

Blossom-inspired diamond earrings

A believer in “slow luxury,” Kothari draws on two decades of industry experience to craft artisanal jewels adorned with handpicked rare gems. “Nature, art, and architectural motifs enthrall me. And then there is rock ‘n roll and surrealism. It’s in my soul – I express myself through this mix.” 

Creating wearable jewellery that “pushes the boundaries of savoir faire,” his works embody a design vocabulary that is best described as “India Moderne meets rock ‘n roll.” The pieces, explains Kothari, are dynamic and maverick with a soul. “I like to believe I create artisanal collectibles.”

The designer espouses his love of gemstones through a conscious effort by using untreated coloured stones. Kothari’s love of a stone is based on its unique quality, beauty, and with all its flaws that mirror a great depth of character.

The Vine ruby necklace

Burmese non-treated rubies are a favourite and often feature across many of his designs. The Vine, a delightful ruby necklace – entwined with rose-cut diamond leaves – transforms into a bracelet and features this precious gem. “The vine, to me, stands for growth and an incredible life force – the most beautiful symbol of nature, divinity, life, faith, and abundance,” says Vishal, who has a penchant for fine detailing. His affinity with nature and local artistry sings out through his distinctive treasures that are often designed with versatility in mind. “Nature and art are the real-life force.”

Another gorgeous pair of VAK earrings, up for sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction, is inspired by blossoms. The adaptable earrings, sprinkled with rose-cut diamonds, are an ode to cheerful chrysanthemums and aptly titled, Chrysanthemums in Summer. “The earrings represent joy, love and longevity. In China, the chrysanthemum symbolises long life, as well as luck. In Eastern philosophy, chrysanthemums are used as offerings due to their powerful yang energy,” shares Kothari. The earrings imbued with a three-dimensional look have detachable earrings and can be worn as studs or worn as pendant earrings with the diamond stems.

Kothari creates around 100-120 pieces a year under his premiere line VAK, which was launched in 2015. “Each piece is one-of-a-kind and handmade by artisans in my atelier in Mumbai,” he adds.

The designer, who is part of the committee for the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, has also collaborated with Gemfields. Their fundraising and conservation campaign, Walk for Giants, launched last month.

Jewellery from VAK – sought after by private clientele, comprising collectors and royal families across the world – is available at select galleries in Europe, U.S., and Middle East and sold at major auction houses, including Sotheby’s, among others.

For enquiries, contact the flagship boutique: VAK, The Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Mumbai 400 004, India

Follow VAK on Instagram @vakjewels

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