Coral Swags and the Allure of JAR

On 30 April 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

The most unobtrusive of Paris-based American jewelers chalks up another success.

JAR, pair of platinum and yellow-gold earrings, consisting of coral bead swags surmounted by two interlocking circles set with eight-cut diamonds, h. 7.5 cm/2.9 in.
Result: €187,520

To describe Joel Arthur Rosenthal, aka JAR (b. 1943), Vanity Fair ran the headline "The Ghost of Place Vendôme" when the Metropolitan Museum of New York staged a retrospective on him in 2013. To say that this American jeweler cultivates discretion is an understatement. He even makes it a trademark, shunning publicity and photographers, limiting interviews and refusing to use icons and press services. None of this does him any harm. On the contrary, it adds to an aura of mystery and exclusiveness that, together with his impeccably crafted pieces, makes him the darling of a demanding and highly specialized international clientele.

This is great art, and it also has a life in auctions, which occasionally feature his baroque, extravagant, poetic creations, produced with a passion for the past tailored to today's tastes and techniques. The sale here involved a pair of earrings made of platinum, yellow gold and striking coral bead swags, elegantly held by circles set with diamonds. These exquisite cascades went for €187,520, beating a magnificent but classic evening necklace of diamond-set fleur-de-lys doubling as a tiara. This unique piece by Mellerio fetched €128,000.  

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