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Tiffany Exhibition: A 128-Carat Diamond and So! Many! Jewels!

Sep 26, 2019 | 12:24 Thu
Photos: Brandon McGhee
After “branded exhibitions” from Gucci, Dior, Hermes, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Cartier in Shanghai, the jewelry company Tiffany & Co are adding a little brilliant-cut brilliance of their own in a new exhibition on the South Bund. “Vision and Virtuosity” is a 20rmb tour through some of the brand’s most impressive pieces, all glinting and shining and reflecting into your phone camera, ending with the super-impressive 128.54-carat “Tiffany Diamond”. So! Many! Jewels!

We went on Monday, opening day, and were escorted into the three-floor space at the Fosun Foundation by two good-looking young men in perfectly ironed suits wearing impeccable make-up. A good start. Though the online buzz is building, lines were short to get in and the space was only moderately crowded.

Still, it wasn’t always easy to get a close look at the jewels as everyone crowded in, but it was worth a bit of a wait. The stones themselves were mesmerizing, making phone pictures difficult because of all the light reflecting off their surfaces.

On the first floor, the most interesting part was the settings, some clever, some unexpected, like an antique sapphire brooch placed on a sparkling bird’s nest with three delicate-looking eggs.

The third floor, where you start before descending, houses most of the antique jewelry from the 1890s and 1900s, with a couple of very strong standouts: a set of three antique enamel brooches once exhibited at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris; and a chrysanthemum pearl brooch from 1904, crafted from freshwater dog-tooth pearls found in the Mississippi River.

The rest, quite honestly, begin to blend together in the mind. It’s jewelry. On the second floor the branding really comes in, where everyone can try on a Tiffany ring, many for the first (and maybe last) time in their life.

It’s impossible to tell if this set up is meant to be exhilarating or discouraging.

The finale, obviously, is the Tiffany Diamond and it comes at the very end, as you’re almost done on the first floor. Brilliant-cut into 84 facets, the 128.54-carat yellow diamond hangs as the pendant on a diamond necklace. So many jewels. So much shine. It’s hard to describe. Amazement, dizziness and indifference were all in the mix. It is, as intended, a spectacle. 20rmb well-spent.

Vision and Virtuosity runs until November 10 at the Fosun Foundation. For more info, click here.


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