New Coffee-Table Book Celebrates the Jewelry of Carnet by Michelle Ong – JCK

She, like her jewels, is luxury, the freedom of true luxury, light and dense, simple and rich, visible and not—she and they evoke the myth of the Orient.

The words above belong to master jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal (aka JAR) and, appearing as in a poem, are from the concise but evocative foreword he has written for Carnet by Michelle Ong, a forthcoming title from Thames & Hudson.

Set to publish next week, it’s required reading for the most passionate and gem-savvy of  jewelry professionals, enthusiasts, and collectors. Not that there’s much text—the supersized compendium of the Hong Kong–based high jewelry designer’s work is dominated by the most luscious and luminous full-page photos of her resplendent jewels, whether it’s a pomegranate glistening with plump ruby seeds, a pair of diamond-stemmed mandarin oranges, or a carved jadeite dragon ensnared in tendrils of pink and blue sapphires and diamonds.

From left: Precious Pomegranate brooch with rubies, brown, white, and yellow diamonds in 18k white and yellow gold; Sweet Mandarin brooch with yellow, white, and brown diamonds in platinum and 18k yellow gold (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)

Even so, author Vivienne Becker’s storytelling in the book’s introduction and at the beginning of each section deftly puts all of these tantalizing images in context, explaining how Carnet—Ong’s boutique jewelry house helmed in tandem with partner and gem dealer Avi Nagar—came to be, and how the designer herself has risen to acclaim as one of the greatest names in high jewelry.

Becker, a noted jewelry expert and historian and the author of many books, suggests that it has something to do with Ong’s “light and lyrical creations” beginning as a “hazy idea, somehow just beyond our grasp… turned into a superbly crafted, silkily fluid, contemporary work of art.”

Most will be inclined to agree. A peek at some of the pages is below.

Tourmaline necklace with white diamonds, pink and blue sapphires, and amethysts in platinum and titanium (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Cleopatra earrings with emeralds and white diamonds in platinum and 18k white gold (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Graceful Peony brooch with diamonds, rubies, pink sapphires, and garnets in 18k white gold and titanium (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Opal Allure earrings with fire opals, yellow and white diamonds, red spinel, and orange sapphires in 18k yellow gold (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
From left: Diamond Lagoon watch with white diamonds and diamond pavé dial in 18k white gold; ring with white diamonds in platinum (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Seashell brooch with emeralds, white diamonds, pink and purple sapphires, and garnets in 18k white gold and titanium (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Brooch with diamonds in 18k white gold (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)
Pompadour necklace in white diamonds and platinum (© 2018 Carnet Jewelry)

Top: Carnet by Michelle Ong, $95; Thames & Hudson (book jacket photo courtesy of Thames & Hudson)

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All That Glitters writer

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