I was supposed to meet Frédéric Mané for an interview that never happened. Immediately, I felt him as a kindred soul that perhaps I might have met in some ancient times. An immoderate love has marked my whole life for the Greek-Roman tradition and the Near East. Frederic was born and grew up in the southern part of France between Perpignan, Collioure and Cadaquès by the Mediterranean Sea called in Latin Mare Nostrum. He breathed the same air our ancestors breathed, and maybe he cultivated the same dreams that Salvador Dalì and Matisse had in the same shores.
I also found curious that Frédéric’s family had a toy shop where surely our designer moved his first steps and where perhaps he learnt magic stories and legends because my passion has always been animated toys. Just recently in Rome, I treated myself to a magic box with a ballerina inside dancing to the sound of sweet music. As I said, the interview never took place, but we talked and chatted like two old friends. He talked to me about his sources of inspiration: the sea, the Mediterranean world and its wonderful light that irradiates the environment most of the year. I suddenly thought of certain Roman mornings when the light reflects upon the ancient red buildings corroded by time …
Frédéric showed me some of the works he designed: first of all the “Boa Constrictor Ring” that he created together with the team “Orchestre Joaillier”. This is a dis-engagement ring/brooch representing a snake around a flower. This bespoke order was so original since it was a divorce ring: the request was to transform an engagement ring and realize a new one to symbolize this particular period of the client’s life. This piece is made of platinum, white, yellow and pink gold, black rhodium-plated gold, 4ct emerald, rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, white and black diamonds. Some petals are enamelled with the technique of the Great Fire. This work of art is real teamwork, and for this reason, the artists who contributed chose the collective name Jewelers Orchestra. It is also a manifesto of this group of artists and the symbol of a new way of intending jewellers’ work.
I would be superficial if I limited the art of Frédéric only to ancient mythology and Mediterranean inspiration. Frédéric is capable of mixing up these roots with new influences to create an original piece of art. The meeting with Rubeus Milano owners Nataliya and Victor Bondarenko allowed Frédéric to express his great art in a very challenging project: the creation of the Imperial high Jewellery collection, the first and only collection exclusively dedicated to the precious alexandrite gem from Russia. The alexandrite is a mysterious and rare stone that was discovered in 1834 in a mine in the Ural mountain region. The collection was presented in 2019 at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. This line includes 47 exceptional alexandrite gemstones of various size and quality. A very complex work that took many months and a whole team of specialists. Each element was created by hand by expert craftsmen. The Imperial necklace is mesmerizing with an enormous alexandrite gem of 69,37 carats. It’s a transformable necklace allowing six transformations. The colour of this gem is surprising: green during the day, violet in the night and red if under ultraviolet rays. The stones are incredibly precious not only for their rarity but also for their exceptional carat weight. Nataliya and Victor intended to express their love for this stone of the Tsars and create a wonderful collection not for selling it but to preserve it to be exposed in the most important museums of the world. Frédéric Mané was the expert designer able to do a miracle: in making such a line composed of 16 pieces in only six months. To this purpose, he established a partnership with the jewel sculptor Jothi Saroj and the other members of the “Orchestre Joaillier”.
The Eternal necklace is dedicated to Russian tsarinas with a centrepiece who looks like stone flowers. This collection, with its museum-worthy pieces, is pure art and a pleasure for our eyes.
This ongoing collaboration with Rubeus Milano has brought forth a new collection where the colour red is the protagonist. The name Rubeus comes from Latin and means red: so no wonder that this colour is the leitmotif of this new line where the centrepiece of each jewel is a deep red gem. One of the most outstanding pieces is the magnificent Yingyang ring with a central 13 ct rubellite cut in the shape of a stylized in symbol with a constellation of pink sapphires gradients. An incredibly dynamic and lively piece that seems to capture a moment of eternal movement.
The passion for Italian art and its Renaissance is well expressed by the Pomegranate ring inspired by the masterpiece of Sandro Botticelli “Madonna della Melagrana” or “Pomegranate Madonna” on show at the Uffizi Galleries. This ring, like the painting, aims to transmit ideas of universal purity. The fruit that gives the name to the painting and also to the ring is a symbol of fertility and wealth but may also remember the Passion of Christ. The ring presents at the centre 1,4-carat ruby, red garnets for 11,6 carats and pink sapphires and diamonds.
The same passion for art, love, spirituality permeates the Angel wings earrings inspired by the famous painting of Sandro Botticelli “Annunciation” that is a detached fresco originally situated in a loggia at the front of the church of San Martino in the hospital of Santa Maria Della Scala in Florence.
The last piece that I would like to present here is the Sunrise ring. “Every night is followed by a sunrise”. This luxurious and elegant ring represents the birth of a new era and the coming of a Resurrection.
All the collection is full of meaning and symbols: an ode to the power of beauty and goodness that may save our troubled world.
Enjoy even more @Frédéric Mané
Edit by Laura Astrologo Porchè – @journaldesbijoux