100th Anniversary - K.S. Sze & Sons 100周年--金星珠寶

100th Anniversary - K.S. Sze & Sons  100周年--金星珠寶

Ming Pao Newspaper, 2023 March 23

High Jewelry:  Celebrating the Centennial with 100 Vintage Jewelry Pieces from the Victorian Era to the Present

100th Anniversary - K.S. Sze & Sons celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The recently concluded exhibition, The Wonder of 100 Vintage Jewelleries, showcased 100 pieces of vintage jewelry from various countries and periods

【Ming Pao News】K.S. Sze & Sons is currently located on the mezzanine floor of the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. However, back in 1963, when the hotel (originally named The Mandarin) first opened, K.S. Sze & Sons had secured its position as one of the seven original retailers, flourishing in a prominent two-story boutique with a shopfront that made a grand impression along the bustling street.

Recalling the company’s establishment in 1923 in Shanghai by Mr. K.S. Sze, Karen Mak, the brand director, said, “We had already established ourselves in the ‘Big Four’ department stores in Shanghai - Wing On, Sincere, Sun Sun, and Da Sun - in the 1940s.” After relocating to Hong Kong due to wartime disruptions, the brand continued its journey, evolving from a modest kiosk in Central to having a presence in the Central Building, and ultimately opening in the Mandarin Oriental 60 years ago. The legacy eventually passed to Mr. Sze’s son. “K.S. Sze was a globetrotter, keen on exchanging ideas with prominent jewelers such as Harry Winston. Despite the influence of European and American designs at the time, our brand stood out with its exquisite pearls, jade, and jadeite pieces, captivating an international clientele who preferred the Mandarin Oriental. Our reputation as a must-visit jeweler in Hong Kong was even cited in the novel Crazy Rich Asians and its subsequent film adaptation.”

Regular Clients include Charlie Chaplin, Princess Diana and Michael Chang

 Over the decades, K.S. Sze & Sons has welcomed an illustrious clientele, from Charlie Chaplin to Princess Diana - who famously had pieces fetched for her - and tennis star Michael Chang, who donned the brand’s creations at Wimbledon. “In the past, many governors and dignitaries arranged for their VIP guests to visit the boutique. The Li & Fung Group family, among others, has been a long-standing customer for many years. We have many customers who have been with us for generations. Some elderly grandmothers, who were clients in their youth, later brought their daughters, and these daughters became mothers themselves, continuing the tradition with their own daughters. Though there are many high-end jewelry brands in the market, people often seek personalized designs on special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries. Because we have known our clients for a long time, we understand their needs better and can create bespoke jewelry for them.”

 Buccellati, the Prince of Goldsmiths, Boasts Outstanding Jewelry

 There are not many long-established jewelry brands deeply rooted in Hong Kong. Recently, K.S. Sze & Sons took advantage of this opportunity to hold “The Wonder of 100 Vintage Jewelleries” exhibition, showcasing 100 unique vintage jewelry pieces from different countries and periods, spanning the Victorian era to the present, for clients, partners, and collectors. Each piece of vintage jewelry bears witness to the historical and cultural ethos of its time. Vintage jewelry often feels like it’s only suitable for special occasions or as art collectibles. However, the jewelry selected for this exhibition was deliberately shown to have both investment value and suitability for everyday wear.

 Gloria Wong, the brand’s product director, unveiled an exhibition highlight: a stunning Buccellati sleek and elegant open bangle from 1960, handcrafted and set with diamonds of various sizes and cuts, bearing the M. Buccellati hallmark. “The brand is celebrated for its exceptional craftsmanship, with founder Mario Buccellati’s work being especially rare and precious.”  His intricate textural engraving, producing an effect akin to finely woven cotton, established him as the ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ and the finest artisan of his day. His work is distinguished by its exquisite craftsmanship, appearing elegant and magnificent from afar and gracefully delicate upon closer inspection, attracting orders from royalty and nobility around the world.

Handkerchief-shaped Detachable Diamond Brooch

Another exceptional jewelry piece featured was from the lesser-known French brand René Boivin. The diamond double-clip brooch is highly sought after by women. Created in 1937, “the design was inspired by the shape of a handkerchief, using oval and brilliant-cut diamonds as the centerpiece and separating them with baguette-cut diamonds. This brooch can be detached into two independent brooches for wearing.” The total weight of the diamonds is approximately 20 carats. René Boivin, established in 1890 in Paris, is known for its original designs in a sculptural style. Its boldest jewelry designs were produced in the 1930s to 1940s. The brand was highly influenced by the Art Deco style, especially the movement’s preference for spherical and oval silhouettes, as seen in this brooch. “Nowadays, many jewelry brands like to launch pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways, but René Boivin had already conceived this design concept back then, which was very innovative at the time.”

And when it comes to jewelry, how could one not mention Cartier? Established in 1847, the French brand is known as the ‘King of Jewelers’, and has been appointed as the official jeweler for many royal families, including the late Queen Elizabeth II. Given its long history, it is naturally a highly sought-after brand in the vintage jewelry world. Several Cartier vintage jewels were showcased during the event, including a sapphire and diamond bouquet brooch, ear clips, and bracelet. Crafted from 18K gold and adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds, alongside round and pear-shaped sapphires arranged into each petal, they epitomize elegance and magnificence.


Image 1 - Pearl Necklace - A catalog cover highlighting a precious pearl necklace during the boutique’s opening in the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, to showcase its design distinctiveness from European and American jewelry brands.


Image 2 - Mandarin Oriental - When the Mandarin Oriental Hotel opened in 1963, K.S. Sze & Sons was one of the first seven brands to establish a presence there.


Image 3 - Open Design - A Buccellati diamond bangle from 1960 with an open design, handcrafted by the founder Mario Buccellati and set with diamonds of various sizes.


Image 4 - Diamond Double Clip Brooch - A René Boivin diamond double clip brooch produced in 1937, which can be separated into two independent brooches for wear, with a total diamond weight of approximately 20 carats.


Image 5 - Love Series - Aldo Cipullo, the designer behind Cartier’s highly popular Love series, introduced the 18K gold Nut & Bolt bracelet with a screw lock design in the 1970s, considered a precursor to the Love series.


Image 6 - Sapphire Petals - A Cartier bouquet-shaped brooch, ear clips, and bracelet featuring sapphires and diamonds. The 18K gold is twisted into settings from which the stones are arranged into each petal.


Image 7 - 18K Gold Necklace - This 18K gold necklace, also designed by Aldo Cipullo in the 1970s, pairs lapis lazuli discs linked with square tiger’s eye gemstones. It is still stylish by today’s standards.

High Jewellery:從維多利亞時期到當代 100款古董珠寶慶百周年

明報, 2023年3月23日

100周年--金星珠寶今年成立100周年,早前圓滿閉幕的The Wonder of 100 Vintage Jewelleries展覽,帶來100件不同地區及時期的古董珠寶。

【明報專訊】記者因工作關係經常到訪酒店,近年本地就有不少新建成的酒店,但相較年資深、有歷史的酒店,他們可以發掘的故事也就更多。正如屹立中環60年的香港文華東方酒店, 極負盛名,而當年開幕時引入的一些獨特品牌,至今仍然活躍,像今年剛成立100周年的金星珠寶(K. S. Sze & Sons) ,正是最早進駐文華東方的品牌之一。

今時今日金星珠寶位於香港文華東方酒店的閣樓層,但在1963年酒店開業時(當時名為文華酒店),金星是7個最早進駐品牌之一,樓高兩層的店面面向馬路,好不威風。金星珠寶品牌總監Karen Mak說,品牌由施剛巽於1923年在上海創辦,「在1940年代已進駐當地4大百貨公司(永安、先施、新新、大新)」。後來因戰亂來港,起初在中環開設一個小檔口,再在中建大廈開設地舖,到60年前進駐香港文華東方酒店,後來交由兒子接手。「施剛巽經常到外地跟不同珠寶商如Harry Winston交流,當時流行的珠寶以歐美設計為主,但金星則有不少加入珍珠、玉、翡翠的款式。那時外國人來到香港都喜歡入住文華東方酒店,在改編成同名電影的Crazy Rich Asians小說中,便曾提到金星珠寶是香港必到的珠寶店。」


多年來品牌有不少名人客,例如Charlie Chaplin,戴安娜王妃也曾託人到店內蒐羅珠寶,而張德培亦曾在溫布頓網球賽中佩戴品牌設計的珠寶。「以往多屆港督政要,也會安排貴賓參觀珠寶店,利豐集團家族則是品牌的長期客戶。我們有不少客也是一代傳一代,有些老奶奶年輕時已經是客人,後來帶女兒一起來,然後連女兒也成為母親,外孫女也繼續來。在坊間當然有很多高級珠寶品牌,但在特定場合,例如結婚、周年紀念,大家會想要一些個人化的設計,而我們因為認識客人很久,更了解他們的需求,可以為他們訂做首飾。」


扎根香港又歷史悠久的珠寶品牌不多, 金星早前便趁這個機會舉辦The Wonder of 100 Vintage Jewelleries展覽,跟相熟客戶、生意拍檔、收藏家蒐羅了100款不同地區及時期獨一無二的古董珠寶。從維多利亞時期到當代,每件古董珠寶印證着不同年代的歷史文化。古董珠寶常給人只適合在特別場合穿戴或是只能作為藝術收藏的感覺,這次選來的珠寶,則刻意展出既具投資價值也適合日常佩戴的款式。

品牌產品總監Gloria Wong介紹,焦點展品之一是Buccellati的珠寶。其中1960年製的Buccellati鑽石手鐲為開口款式,以人手打造,鑲嵌大大小小的切割鑽石,並蓋有M. Buccellati印章,外形設計利落大方。「品牌以高品質手藝聞名,其中由創辦人Mario Buccellati製作的首飾極為珍貴難得。」Mario Buccellati引入當時罕有的紋理雕刻技術,以人手在首飾表面逐條拉出有高度細膩感的綿紡特殊效果。意大利當時不乏馳名的珠寶工藝,但被譽為「金匠王子」的Mario是當時最好的工匠,作品每處也可看到其精緻手工,遠看高雅華麗,近看卻優雅細膩,吸引世界各地王室貴族訂購。

手帕形態 可拆式鑽石胸針

另一件珠寶則來自較少人認識的法國品牌René Boivin。鑽石雙夾胸針深受女士追捧,此作品在1937年製作,「設計靈感來自手帕的形態,運用了橢圓形和圓形切割鑽石為中心,再以長方形切割鑽石分隔組成,此胸針可分拆成兩個獨立胸針佩戴」,淨鑽石總重量約20卡。René Boivin 是1890年代於巴黎成立的品牌,其原創設計以雕塑風格聞名,當中設計最大膽的珠寶是在1930至1940年代生產,品牌在1930年代初期深受裝飾藝術風格(Art Deco)影響,偏愛球形和橢圓形的設計,在這次胸針上也可看到。「現時不少珠寶品牌也喜歡推出可多種方法佩戴的珠寶,但René Boivin在當時已構思出這種設計,在當時來說非常創新。」




圖3,開口款式--1960年製的Buccellati鑽石手鐲為開口款式,由創辦人Mario Buccellati以人手打造,鑲嵌大大小小的切割鑽石。

圖4,鑽石雙夾胸針--1937年製作的René Boivin鑽石雙夾胸針,可分拆成兩個獨立胸針佩戴,淨鑽石總重量約20卡。

圖5,Love系列--Aldo Cipullo是Cartier大受歡迎的Love系列珠寶的設計師,他在1970年代推出的18K黃金Nut & Bolt手鐲採用螺絲上鎖設計,可說是Love系列的前身。


圖7,18K黃金頸鏈--此18K黃金頸鏈同樣出自1970年代的Aldo Cipullo之手,配搭圓環形青金石和方形窩釘切割虎眼石,現在看來依然有型。