Art As Jewellery: Anna Hu's Silk Road Music Collection Will Be Auctioned At Sotheby's Hong Kong In October
Sotheby’s offers the most extraordinary jewels in the world to discerning collectors looking for extra-special designs. Rare and iconic creations demonstrating the very best of artistic creativity, as well as twinkling diamonds, splashy gemstones and natural pearls, along with many previously unseen examples from private collections, including Queen Marie Antoinette’s, pass through the auction house.
I’m therefore delighted to write that, this October, my own jewellery will be sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong, which has long distinguished itself as a leader in Asia’s auction world. Just a few months ago I was among the jewellers who opened up their salons, shops and hotel spaces in Paris for Fashion Week, which is where my latest line, the Silk Road Music collection, was lovingly handcrafted.
In a ballroom at the Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme, all five pieces of my Silk Road Music collection were displayed ahead of the coming Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction. As a one-time competitive cellist, I often use musical themes as inspiration and this latest collection is no different. On this occasion, I was interested in the different music that would have been sung and heard by the tradesmen and women who travelled the ancient Silk Road route that once connected the East with the West.
I have always been fascinated by history. Not only is it the backbone of modern civilisation, but it also informs our present and future. It’s important to me that I embrace my Chinese ancestry, which is what has made this year so special. This summer I returned to Paris Haute Couture Week as the first Asian female member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, an exclusive organisation that promotes fashion culture through traditional know-how and contemporary design.
Continuing to pay homage to the past, the Silk Road Music collection is inspired by literature, the performing arts and crafts, and is expertly handcrafted with the utmost attention to detail.
All of my jewellery pieces have their own story to tell. The Ellington earrings, for example, are a tribute to American jazz composer Duke Ellington. A piano-like swirl of sea-blue sapphires and baguette-cut diamonds glitter on a superbly structured white gold setting, while a pink conch pearl hangs at the centre.
It’s not just the quality of an artist’s jewellery that gives them their fame; it’s also their timelessness and sentiment.
The Appassionata ring, with extremely rare emerald-cut rubies, also features piano keys and the silhouettes of harps, subtly depicting the elegance of jazz. My jewellery’s deeper meaning is part of what makes it so popular among such personalities as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Oprah Winfrey and the queen consort of Bhutan, among others.
Although it’s always been impossible for me to select a favourite piece from my numerous lines, the Silk Road Music collection is additionally special because its Dunhuang Pipa necklace features a jaw-dropping fancy intense yellow diamond that weighs a phenomenal 100.02 carats. A pipa, a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, is what influenced this extraordinary necklace, while the yellow diamond represents knowledge as well as intellect and wisdom.
Additionally, the Dunhuang Pipa necklace pays tribute to the Mogao Grottoes in the north-western province of Gansu, which contains what is considered one of the most important collections of Buddhist art in the world. The traditional date ascribed to the founding of the first cave is AD 366. At its peak during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907), the site housed 18 monasteries, more than 1,400 monks and nuns, and countless artists. As such, it was one of the most important trading spots along the ancient Silk Road.
It’s not just the quality of an artist’s jewellery that gives them their fame; it’s also their timelessness and sentiment. It has been and continues to be a privilege to bring Chinese spirit and French craftsmanship and excellence to the forefront, which is what I aim to further with my collaboration with Sotheby’s Hong Kong over the years to come. And I look forward to you joining me on my journey.
See also: From Cellist To Jewellery Artist: Anna Hu Brings Music To Her Pieces