La Biennale Paris 2017

La Biennale 2017 Paris Grand Palais.JPG

With a new name, new annual cycle, and a more sparing floorplan, the 2017 edition of ‘La Biennale’ brought a mix of jewels to the heart of Paris this week.

Five high jewelers and five antique dealers exhibited alongside some of the finest antiques and paintings in the world under the glass dome of the Grand Palais. While the format has not changed for the previously named ‘Biennale des Antiquaires’, with the traditional Saturday evening gala dinner and Sunday VIP vernissage, the hushed atmosphere on opening day felt much different from the excitement of previous years where booths of top French maisons buzzed with activity.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of jewels to admire. First time exhibitors Glenn Spiro, Anna Hu and Moussaieff were joined by second-timers Nirav Modi and Bohgossian, who all brought impressive new jewelry to the show.

London-based Glenn Spiro was on hand to present his imaginative and kinetic pieces, including butterflies whose wings flap with the movement of a finger and flowers that spin open to reveal hidden gemstones. Anna Hu continues her world tour for the 10th anniversary of the founding of her brand with a collection of 20 jewels, including large titanium pieces inspired by Monet’s Water Lillies. Moussaieff, known for having a treasure-trove of some of the finest colored diamonds and exceptional gemstones in the world, brought many significant pieces for visitors to admire.

Boghossian, known for its innovative setting techniques that minimize metal and nestle gems together in unique ways, brought many pieces from the Les Merveilles and Kissing Diamonds collections to demonstrate this. Nirav Modi, the seventh-generation diamantaire from India, presented many spectacular pieces that have made them a red carpet favorite in recent years.

In the antique and vintage category, art fair regulars Epoque Fine Jewels and Véronique Bamps were joined by regional French dealers Bernard Bouisset, Alain Pautot and Francine Joaillerie. Jewels from all eras were on display from a stunning 19th century multicolour sapphire necklace and bracelet at Véronique Bamps, to important Art Nouveau from specialist Epoque Fine Jewels, to dazzling contemporary pieces from all dealers. 

The changes to the show will not end at the name and annual date. Seemingly struggling to find its identity among an ever busier and glitzier fair calendar, the rumored return of Place Vendôme jewelers in 2018 may shake things up a bit. As well, the fair must find a new home in 2020 when the 1900-built Grand Palais undergoes multi-year renovations. One can only wonder at this point what 2018 will bring!

La Biennale Paris runs from September 11-17, 2017.