Exhibition: Pearl merchants: A rediscovered saga, between the Gulf & France at the dawn of XX Century [fr]
From the 28 march to the 13 april 2019, the Ecole des Arts Joailliers (School of Jewellery Arts) is organizing the exhibition “Pearl merchants: A rediscovered saga, between the Gulf & France at the dawn of XX Century”, with the support from Van Cleef & Arpels and the Institut Français in the UAE. The exhibit, free of charge and available for everyone, will be held in the Dubai Design District.
In connection with the arrival, for the second time at Dubaï, of the Ecole des Arts Joaillers (School of Jewellery Arts) with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, don’t miss the exhibition “Pearl merchants: A rediscovered saga, between the Gulf & France at the dawn of XX Century”
Since the beginning of the 17th century, the Gulf appeared as an origin of choice for all “genuine” or “natural” pearls for the French. It’s here that the largest numbers of oyster beds, stretching along the Western coast of Omanall the way to Kuwait through the North of Bahrein which the largest and richest beds can be found.
Paris, world capital of genuine pearls
Up until the Second World War these pearls were fished in extremely harsh conditions under a hierarchical organization model. They were then exported from the Gulf to India, Egypt or Turkey before transiting Marseille to finally reach Paris that emerged as the world capital of genuine pearls. The Chambre Syndicale of diamond, pearl, precious gems and lapidary dealers was founded in 1877 and soon managed to impose the carat as the global measurement unit for both diamonds and pearls.
Comeback on the Parisian “pearl era”
Most of the Parisian pearl trade was concentrated around what is now rue La Fayette, with more than 50 dealers. In addition to navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier (1884-1941), present in Bahrein in 1911, several personalities such as Leonard Rosenthal (1874?-1955) or Jacques Bienenfeld (1875-1933), decided to self-finance fishing expeditions in the Gulf and managed in record time head real trade empires. Later, a certain Mikimoto Kökichi (1858-1954) caused a furore at the beginning of the 1920s by introducing cultured pearls on the international market. The repercussions of the Great Depression in 1929 then of the Second World War were finally to bring an end to the Parisian “pearl era”.
Venue: D3, Dubai
Organizer: L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels
Information: www.me.lecolevancleefarpels.com / @LEcoleMiddleEast
Free of charge and available for everyone