With the return of the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair next month, bringing together over 30,000 classic to contemporary items for the three-day event at London ExCeL, we caught up with some of the leading interiors and antiques experts appearing at the fair to ask what 2018 will look like for our homes and lifestyles. Here, jewellery expert and BBC Antiques Roadshow regular Joanna Hardy, explores the new year’s sparkling styles.
“The trend in jewellery for 2018? Whatever Meghan wears! Because her engagement ring is made of diamonds there will most likely be a resurgence of diamonds as people do seem to be swayed by what they see those in the public eye wearing. Also the rise in popularity of pearls. The royal family love their pearls; the Queen and Princess Diana regular wore them so this, combined with colour could bring a new edge in 2018.
“What else has been an ever-growing trend is the awareness and appreciation of rarity and craftsmanship when it comes to jewellery. The jewellery houses or individual artisans will continue to remain in the spotlight in 2018 – for example, Castalani, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Lalique, Fouquet, Fabergé – all these exceptional master craftsmen pay so much attention to detail.
“And even if you cannot afford these, you can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into other type of jewellery – whether it’s titanium or iron – it’s the attention to detail. Design plus craftsmanship is a winning combination that buyers will only look for more in 2018.”
“My advice for a novice jewellery shopper is to first and foremost buy something that you want to wear. If the jewel speaks to you then buy it. Don’t think about the investment angle, instead think of yourself as a custodian of the piece – buy it because you love it! Some antique pieces have wonderful sentiments of emotion and passion that is being relayed in the jewel.
“And don’t go in with a pre-conceived idea that you like a certain style such as art deco or art nouveau. A collection of a variety of styles and periods in jewellery is really lovely. If you mix and match your periods you’ll have more of an opportunity to wear them!
“Just because a piece is antique, it doesn’t mean it’s good quality. You need to have a discerning eye – take a look at the back and front of the item. If you’re buying a piece, check if there’s been any repair. If there’s damage – avoid. It’s best to start with something with a hallmark or a signature. See if it’s rough or smooth to the feel and that both the front and the back of the piece have been equally well crafted.”
Joanna Hardy will be speaking on antique jewellery at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Saturday 13 January at 1pm. The event is supported by The Arts Society, a leading arts education charity which brings people together through a shared curiosity for the arts. theartsscociety.org. The Fair runs from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 January. For more information visit artantiquesinteriorsfair.com.