Jan Maarten Asscher, as befits a member of the celebrated family Asscher, is renowned for his expertise, in diamond cut, symmetry and finish.
Together with the design team at JMAsscher they have produced designs which use artistic interpretation, to create imaginative, original, contemporary pieces for the elegant original collections.
Ever alive with conceptual ideas, the team’s design ability has been energised by the awe inspiring heritage of the Asscher family and their illustrious commissions. This integral source for much of the design inspiration can be easily appreciated, when one takes the time to visit the Tower of London, where the Crown Jewels are housed in the Jewel House
There one can view the Imperial State Crown, and the Sovereign’s Sceptre of the Cross which were redesigned to incorporate Cullinan I and II, being the two largest diamonds derived from the original gemstone. It is no surprise that these two magnificent pieces of regalia (with their close association to Jan Maarten’s family) are a major source of inspiration for the initial JMAsscher collections.
The Imperial State Crown is a breathtakingly glorious masterpiece of jewellery design. This magnificent emblem of sovereignty, incorporates legendary jewels, worked into motifs of immense symbolism.
Dazzled by its opulence, we seldom stand back to analyse the components that make up the whole. On closer inspection, one finds oneself mesmerised by the detail of the shimmering paired pearl acorns in diamond cups, suspended from intersecting arches of interwoven acorn leaves, studded with diamonds.
The mighty oak which formed the basis of so many battleships, is represented together with its acorns, to symbolise continuous growth and fertility. The four crosses patteé between the arches, alternate with fleur de lys, indicating military honour and purity.
These repeat motifs are designed to form pinnacles of coruscating diamonds, in balanced uniformity. They are surmounted by a monde (orb) of fretted silver, pavé-set with brilliants, with a cross-pattée above, set in the centre with an octagonal rose-cut sapphire, known as ‘St Edward’s Sapphire’.
The dazzling diamond orb or “monde” is symbolic of Christ’s, (the cross), dominion over the world, (the orb). This device is plainly visible on the monarch’s sceptre from medieval times. However, the focal point of the crown is now undoubtedly the Cullinan II, which was presented to Edward VII in 1907 as a symbolic gesture to heal the rift between Britain and South Africa after the Boer War.
The orb on the sceptre was originally an immense faceted amethyst, which was incorporated at the pinnacle of the sceptre once more, when the Cullinan I upstaged it, in the redesign of the sceptre in 1910.
The design team have focused on these separate elements and lifted key motifs from them, to form the thematic core of the designs, for the first JMAsscher collections. The colours and symbolism, of the Crown Jewels, have been faithfully translated into wearable pieces of tastefully styled jewellery for JMAsscher’s discerning clients.
This has been achieved by introducing elements like the iconic orb, designed as a facetted amethyst pendant and earrings. These are handmade in 18 carat white gold, with an oval emerald station above. They are then painstakingly finished with detailed banding of micro pave-set diamonds.
The elements from the setting of Cullinan I, in the Sceptre, have formed the inspiration for delicate blue stoned suites of jewellery, framed by a micro pave-set, heart shaped mounting and surmounted by acanthus inspired diamond motifs.
Details from the symbolic fleur de lys on the State Crown are introduced in the curvilinear setting supports, for JMAsscher’s range of certified diamond engagement rings. These often include accent stones on the shank, and halo set central diamonds with acanthus inspired scrolls in support of their cathedral galleries.
In this manner, the designers have used a modern interpretation, to produce collections of opulent and sophisticated designs. This scintillating, heirloom quality jewellery, that will delight their owners for generations to come.
To quote Jan Maarten “It is exciting to present new collections which bring to life the spirit of my family’s heritage, in a blend of the best of classic and contemporary. Our aim, for the future, is to create elegant collections of jewellery that can be worn every day, yet are guaranteed to turn the head of any jewellery connoisseur.