Bees Return as a Common Jewellery Motif


Dan Dower needs to alter our perspective towards bees.

“A part of the message is making folks belief bees,” mentioned Mr. Dower, who’s one half of the jewellery model Dower & Corridor. “Be pleasant in the direction of bees. See them as mates, not as simply issues that sting.”

This spring the model launched a Queen Bee necklace, a round pendant stamped with the insect. And thru August, all proceeds will go to the Bee Pleasant Belief, which works to extend habitats for bees in Britain.

“The bee has turn out to be such an emotive factor,” mentioned Mr. Dower in an interview on the model’s studio within the Clapham neighborhood. He mentioned it “definitely has a number of resonance for various causes for various folks.”

In jewellery, that does appear to be the case.

This 12 months marks the sixteenth anniversary of the unique bumblebee necklace from the London-based jeweler Alex Monroe.

The piece, which appears to be like as if an precise bee was coated with silver or gold and held on a sequence, has since spawned 5 extra variations — and in consequence, Mr. Monroe famous, “very often folks say, ‘Oh, you’re the bee man’.” Costs begin at 135 kilos ($172).

He mentioned he had been impressed by the work of the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, notably “Cupid Complaining to Venus,” which reveals Cupid being stung by bees. Mr. Monroe mentioned the bee, in that occasion, “was this motif of it being the inevitable ache of affection and of ardour” and he was within the thought of turning on its head what he felt to be a really British image that was “on the cutesy aspect of issues.”

The French, in distinction, affiliate the bee with Napoleon, who used it as his imperial emblem. The Paris jewellery home Chaumet, too, has employed the motif because the early nineteenth century — and, in 2011, it launched the Bee My Love assortment, and added to the road in June of this 12 months diamond variations of a toi et moi ring, which incorporates two stones; an uneven earring set; and a stickpin brooch.

The bee motif in jewellery will be traced again to the Minoans and Egyptians, in response to Helen Molesworth, senior curator of jewellery on the Victoria & Albert Museum — with one other surge in reputation within the nineteenth century and, once more, at present.

“Its early affiliation with royalty,” she wrote in an e mail, “has maybe now been overtaken by the extra ecological and environmental associations of our society’s relationship with nature, and the way we needs to be taking care of it. Nearly an inversion of its that means.”

Mr. Dower mentioned that hyperlink to nature was one thing he had lengthy needed to foster by including a bee to the Dower & Corridor line, and he was spurred final 12 months by the demise of his father, who had been lively in environmental organizations and was a beekeeper.

In January, Mr. Dower started to design the pendant, doing three iterations with a mixture of computer-aided design and bench work earlier than touchdown on the ultimate look. It’s manufactured from recycled sterling silver or yellow gold vermeil, with chains which might be a most of 18 inches or 22 inches; costs begin at £125, or $163 in the US.

Mr. Dower mentioned he was “attempting to create tactile treasures that individuals could make a connection to, a private connection to.”


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