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Anthony Lent jewellery: enter a wonderful dream world of museum worthy jewels

From your most fanciful dreams to your deepest fears, finely nuanced emotions are exquisitely captured in artist jeweller Anthony Lent's ethereal creations.

24 August 2014

By Rachel Garrahan in New York

These ethereal and eclectic jewels are the brainchild of Anthony Lent, whose unique creations beguile the eye and the imagination.  

"My passion is my life in art. My dreams, hope, inspiration, fear, humour, spirit and love," says Tony, who, after learning his craft in Germany more than 40 years ago, has been creating museum-worthy pieces ever since, inspired by myriad influences, from art history to mythical legend. 

Formerly the inspiration to countless students at New York's prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where he was the jewellery department chair, Tony was joined in 2013 by his two sons, Max and David, to create a brand that would bring his life's work to a wider audience.

I was particularly taken with the Anthony Lent brooches, which lend themselves fully to the designer's lively imagination, and where the delight is in the detail, some of it only visible with a jeweller's loupe.

His maple seed brooch is brimful of delicate whimsy. The faces of forest nymphs, a signature motif inspired by Victorian photographs, form the tips of the intricate, hand-pierced maple seed. Turn the piece over and the face is repeated on the tiny diamond-accented dewdrop dangling delicately from the bottom. 

The pin itself is a beautifully textured piece of hand-drawn fluted wire, latched by the mouth of another creature from this mystical forest floor. Despite the beasts, the piece is an ultra-feminine combination of gold, diamonds, pink sapphires and moonstones set randomly like further dewdrops on an autumn morning. 

With Lent's Hands to the Stars brooch, diamond-accented stars burst forth from tiny hands that are fully realised, right down to the knuckle wrinkles and fingernails. 

The engine-turned engraving on the reverse, meanwhile, is an example of Lent's combination of ancient technique and modern design, made in the Philadelphia design studio on a 19th-century engraving machine. 

The designer's love of the work of medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch is revealed in his whimsical Bosch earrings, inspired by the Dutch artist's famous and surrealistic work, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Tiny, detailed legs dangle delightfully from Tahitian pearls.

Another signature Anthony Lent motif, the moon face, is described by Tony as that "of the collective unconscious", an image with which we are all familiar and which is based on Victorian children's book illustrations. Here, the friendly face shines out from a bold ring, its eyes glittering with diamonds. The motif is repeated in all its fine contours on everything from pendants to the chocolates the jeweller created with chocolatier and chef Francisco Migoya. 

Having enjoyed both the chocolates and many unique pieces of Anthony Lent jewellery at the Couture Show Las Vegas, I look forward to seeing where his imagination takes us next.

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