The world’s most prestigious brands have used the work of reclusive French master jeweler Andre Chervin to create miniature lights covered in diamonds and rubies and sculptures of plants and animals made of gold and emerald. Now, Andre Chervin is displaying his own work in New York.
According to Chervin, 95, “This collection represents a lifetime of work,” in a statement to the New-York Historical Society.
“I had complete control over the decisions I had to make, including when and how they would be made. I was liberated from the limitations that inevitably result from producing something for a customer’s order.
He was a Jewish man who was born in Paris in 1927, earned his education there at the esteemed Haute Ecole de Joaillerie, and immigrated to New York in 1951.
With $2,000 in his pocket, he created the atelier Carvin French there with another aspiring French jeweler Serge Carponcy. For decades, the atelier has provided jewels to prestigious brands like Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Bulgari.
Chervin avoids the spotlight and declines requests for interviews.
“My father never intended for this exhibition to take place. In reality, Carole Chervin, the vice president of the atelier and his daughter, told AFP that it was difficult for her to persuade her father that an exhibition was even necessary.
He is a very reserved, modest, and humble man. As I previously stated, he did all of this work out of passion; he wasn’t looking for attention.
The exhibition will include marvels of decorative art created by Chervin’s modest workshop, which is still in operation today, in addition to brooches, bracelets, rings, and earrings made of diamond, sapphire, emerald, ruby, gold, and silver.
A boudoir lamp called “My Heavy Heart,” constructed of a ruby slab bedside lamp called “The Frogs’ Rubies,” and an 18-carat gold wheelbarrow filled with multicolor diamond flowers are among them.
A strawberry shrub with red coral-carved fruits and nephrite foliage is also present.
These items, which were taken from Chervin’s New York home for the first time, demonstrate that the artist “has a very close relationship and a very touching relationship with nature,” according to the exhibit’s curator Debra Schmidt Bach. He has a deep love for the natural world.
Schmidt Bach claims that one of Chervin’s strengths has always been identifying and nurturing creative artisans, many of whom are from outside the country. Chervin has been in charge of Carvin French for 60 years.
She continued, “Andre says he sometimes felt like he was the conductor, leading an orchestra of extraordinary talents and artisans with extraordinary skills.
Another important element in Chervin’s success was New York.
Because it was in New York, said Carole Chervin, “we were able to draw such a wonderful roster of jewelers, lapidaries, and artisans.”
According to my father, it was a true United Nations of skill.