May 10, 2018 - 16:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Christie’s will sell an exceptional bracelet by the prominent Boghossian family - who are of Armenian descent - at a live auction on May 29 in Hong Kong, The National reports.
The masterpiece is made from a collection of red, pink, blue, green and yellow diamonds that form dainty flowers on twisting stems. These, in turn, rest lightly on a mesh of luminous pearls. The design is based on a medieval manuscript that was on display in Stuttgart and was spotted by the Boghossian family. It took Albert Boghossian 10 years to assemble the diamonds and a further 18 months to produce the finished piece. It is a fine example of the daring things that this family does with precious stones.
The Boghossians are European jewellers that have been based in Geneva for the past 40 years, but have strong roots in this part of the world. The entrepreneurial family is of Armenian descent, hailing from Mardin in Turkey, where it is believed they were involved in the jewellery trade as far back as 1750. Official records show that six generations of the family, dating back to the 1880s, have traded gems and produced fine gold filigree and gem-set jewellery – first in Mardin, then Aleppo, followed by Beirut, until the 1970s, when fifth-generation member of the family Jean Boghossian moved to Belgium and his brother Albert Boghossian, the company’s CEO, to Geneva. Now Jean’s sons, Ralph and Roberto, are carrying on the tradition in London.
“The Armenian community is always on the move; it is inherent to our roots,” says Albert Boghossian from the headquarters of this small high-end jewellery business, which overlooks the Rhône river and the gleaming facades of Geneva’s big-name jewellery brands. “So that is our approach. We are always on the move into uncharted territory and innovation, as far as jewellery design is reflected. Seeking new ways of doing things,” he explains.
Later this year, the Boghossian family will launch its first high-jewellery collection inspired by the Silk Route, tracing the path that the family has travelled over the decades. Albert describes the work as a dialogue between East and West: “The intricacy and femininity of the East, and the innovation and modernity of the West.”
It starts with a Chinese design that acknowledges the work of Boghossian’s Hong Kong-based creative director Edmond Chin, but is also where Albert’s father, Robert, spent time during the Communist era sourcing pearls. The collection then travels through India, since Albert went to learn about emeralds and gem-cutting in Jaipur, the Rajasthani capital renowned for gems. There are also designs that chart the family’s highly personal retreat from Turkey, where Albert and Jean Boghossian’s grandfather Ohaness survived the Armenian Genocide.
In a nod to their history, the Boghossians established a foundation in Brussels, today run by Roberto and Ralph’s cousin, Louma Salamé. Impressed by the leadership, resilience and optimism of Ohaness Boghossian, who survived genocide and wars, and was determined to help the poor in his community by funding an orphanage and medical services, his grandsons were encouraged to follow the same course. The Boghossian Foundation now works on humanitarian and educational projects in the places that have been a backdrop to the family’s story, whether helping the victims of Armenia’s earthquake in 1988, funding a school for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon today, or funding a medical clinic that travels through the refugee camps.