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Alexandre Reza, Assouline’s Ultimate collectionTuesday 1 September 2015
Born in Moscow, Alexandre Reza quickly conquered the City of Light – and then, the world – with the most exclusive jewelry. One of the world’s most dignified jewelers, gemologists and legendary gem collectors is celebrated in this lavish Assouline edition.
Alexandre Reza, the book, is part of Assouline’s Ultimate collection and is filled with original photography by Laziz Hamani and text by Vivienne Becker. According to David Bennett, chairman, Sotheby’s international jewelry division, Europe and Middle East, who wrote the preface, the book is “the first major study devoted to the life and work of Alexandre Reza”.
This edition presents more than one hundred rare pieces of Reza’s creations. It also includes a history of the famed gem house in archival documents and vintage photography. Here we are able to observe in exuberant detail many vivid photos of several masterpieces from Reza’s collection, whose colors capture our attention out of the pages.
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Reza was famed among his colleagues for the supreme order in which he kept his gemstones, each carefully labeled. “It is said he never forgot a stone out of the thousands he saw; he possessed an extraordinary faculty, a photographic memory for stones. After playing for hours with the gems, systematically arranging them into suites and designs, into a rhythmic flow of line, form, and color, it was the job of his assistants to put them back in immaculate order”, Vivienne Becker refers in the book.
Reza’s profession has always allowed him to be surrounded by exceptional beauty. “I have devoted my life to the study and appreciation of precious gems, revealing their true beauty. Perfection and artistic creation have always been my daily concerns”, he says.
The precious diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies reveal the clarity and intensity created by grouping particular gemstones, whose color and tones associations were powerful and carefully considered. They have seen the most extravagant centuries and epochs, from French monarchies, to Persian dynasties and to the Italian Renaissance.
History is an inspiration for Reza, who demonstrates a special affinity with the eighteenth century style. His handcrafted pieces mix ages and eras to create something special – a “harmonization of contradictory forces,” according to historian Arlette Seta.
Assouline began with the belief that beauty can transform our lives, and that a book, artfully crafted and highly considered in its visual content, can open our eyes and minds; with Alexandre Reza we can perfectly feel it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandre Reza was born in 1922 in Moscow. He is a Paris-based jeweler known for a rare collection of precious gems, and lauded as the greatest gem collector of modern times. Son of a jeweler, he moved to France with his family when he was a child and began his career as a diamond expert, traveling extensively to source each stone, which served as the key design inspiration for his work.
Until he decided to launch his own unique and highly successful brand in the 1980s, the name Alexandre Reza was surprisingly little known outside of the jewelry industry.
Early on, Reza supplied gems to jewelry brands such as Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Gerard, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels. His eponymous jewelry house was founded in 1981 on the Place Vendôme, in Paris. Alexandre Reza’s creations are known for their opulence, splendor, extravagance, and extraordinary craftsmanship.
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