Amusing, mischievous and beautiful are all words that come to mind when confronted with the new Animal Farm collection from celebrated Parisian jeweller Lydia Courteille.
"The collection was inspired by Georges Orwell's novel," says Lydia. "In the book, animals aspire to be equals. I dream of high-level equality - it's why I put crowns on the animals' heads. The other inspiration was Marie Antoinette and the small farm she had installed when she moved to Petit Trianon at Versailles. She was passionate about nature and animals, and spent her days playing with sheeps and donkeys, dressing them up in accessories such as bows or jewels."
But don't be fooled by the ironic undercurrent. These pieces may bring a smile to your face, but the design and intricate craftsmanship put them very firmly in the realms of high jewellery. Renowned for her surreal creations, Lydia's designs are full of amazing details traced in stunning pavé gems.
Be the leader of the pack with a pig ring in diamonds, sapphires and pink gold, or how about a Turkey ring in striking black and white diamonds with topaz, amethyst and blackened gold?
If they don't take your fancy, take your pick from other familiar farmyard faces. How about a cow with an intricate diamond crown balancing between its ears or a timid little mouse nibbling on a golden pearl? Or a golden goat, white diamond-encrusted rabbit or duck with a shiny gold beak protruding proudly.
"I love the turkey," says Lydia. "It was a real success. And next will be peacock. In total, the collection will consist of 12 animal rings." She also plans to introduce matching earrings later this spring.
Lydia Courteillg Pig ring in pink gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with diamonds and sapphires.
Lydia Courteille Cow ring in gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with diamonds, tsavorites and sapphires.
Lydia Courteille Turkey ring in blackened gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with black and white diamonds, topaz and amethyst.
Lydia Courteille Mouse ring in gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with diamonds, pink opals and a golden pearl.
Lydia Courteille Goat ring in yellow gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with diamonds and sapphires.
Lydia Courteille Rabbit ring in white gold from the Animal Farm collection, set with white diamonds and rock crystal.