By Francesca Fearon in London
After a 14-year hiatus Alexandre Reza, the international jewellery house renowned for its rare gems and tremblant designs, returns to the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris under the direction of Olivier Reza.
Founded by Olivier's father Alexandre Reza, his extraordinary expertise in gemstones allowed him to source the most magnificent stones and create jewellery for other maisons in the post-war era. His business grew and a flagship boutique was opened in Place Vendôme in 1971 - where Louis Vuitton is now located - and salons were opened in Geneva, Monte Carlo and Cannes.
When Reza retired due to illness, the business was closed. However, his son Olivier was left with a large inventory of exceptional quality stones. A banker at the time, he had also developed a keen eye for design. "I found in me a passion to continue, " he says, "so when my father got sick, I went around the auction houses and learnt the business." And so the house was reopened two years ago in a private first-floor salon close to the original store in Place Vendôme.
"My father would buy stones and go to his designers and say 'you must show the stone at its best'," says Reza, and that has been his guiding principle with the collections he now creates. "We make jewellery in a patrimonial way as this is part of my heritage."
For the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires he has around 40 new designs, which he will curate and rotate each day of the event. There will also be some archive pieces, on show only. The presentation includes delicate tremblant-style tree-blossom earrings either in diamonds with heart-shaped central stones or with asymmetric-set D flawless diamonds and untreated Burmese rubies. These are quite unusual, as the house is not renowned for figurative jewellery.
There are sinuous diamond spiral earrings and some fine Old Mine emerald earrings mounted with baguette-cut diamonds. Among the rings is Reza's signature Toi et Moi design, which combines a diamond offset by a high-quality coloured gem, and a bold Turban ring with a large sugarloaf cabochon blue sapphire surrounded by a swirl of baguette-cut diamonds in white gold - just a few of the multitude of gems that will sparkle at the Biennale in September.